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The II 300

Ranking Overview Methodology

America's Top 300 Money Managers

It started as a sideline. In 1978, when State Street Bank & Trust Co. launched an asset management division, the plan was to sell a few of the newfangled index funds to the bank's bread-and-butter custody customers. They were a captive audience, the bankers reasoned, so why not?

A quarter century later that once-peripheral business, State Street Global Advisors, boasts $1.1 trillion in assets and appears at the top of Institutional Investor's annual ranking of America's largest money managers, based on their reported assets as of December 31, 2003.

SSgA displaces Fidelity Investments, dominator of the II 300 for a decade. But this is no mere shuffling of the ranks among giant firms. The ascension of SSgA marks a symbolic turning point in money management -- the first time that an "indexer" has emerged as the largest U.S. asset manager. Underscoring the point, another indexer, Barclays Global Investors, places second on the II 300, with assets of $1.07 trillion.

What's more, this is the first time that the No. 1 firm, much less the second-place finisher, has reported assets of more than $1 trillion. In last year's II 300, which covered firms with assets under management at year-end 2002, then-leader Fidelity had assets of only (if that's the word) $794 billion. SSgA, on its heels, recorded assets of roughly $763 billion.

Choosing America's Biggest Money Managers
The II 300 ranks America's largest money managers by assets under management. In conformity with the traditional view of the money management business, assets are defined as discretionary assets under management for the account of customers for which an organization has contractual authority to make buy and sell decisions. We ask firms to report assets under management for their entire organization--including subsidiaries. The ranking includes insurance companies, banks, investment management firms, internally managed pension funds, mutual fund companies and hedge funds. Domestic and non-U.S. equities include convertibles. ADR's are included in non-U.S. equities. Domestic and non-U.S. fixed income include preferred stock and mortgage-backed securities. Real estate includes debt and equity. Alternative investments may include derivatives, venture capital, oil & gas, timberland, and hedge fund investments. Tax-exempt assets represent assets from tax-exempt sources, such as pension funds, foundations and endowments.

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