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The II 300

Ranking Overview Methodology

BlackRock Leads the II300 for a Sixth Straight Year

Although a cloud of uncertainty hangs over the markets, thanks largely to concerns about slowing growth in China and financial stability in Greece, U.S. money management is still good business. Assets directed by the firms in the II300, Institutional Investor’s annual ranking of the nation’s top money managers, increased 6.84 percent year-over-year, to $45.2 trillion, in 2014. More than 10 percent of that total is managed by New York–based BlackRock, which holds the top spot on this roster for a sixth year running. With the active versus passive debate still unsettled, BlackRock had products on both sides of the fence to woo each type of investor. Its exchange-traded funds line, iShares, is still the largest in the U.S.

But Vanguard Group, inventor of the index fund, keeps coming on strong. The Malvern, Pennsylvania–based firm rises from third place to second (and bumps Boston’s State Street Global Advisors down a notch to third) after increasing its AUM by nearly $419 billion, to $2.7 trillion. Vanguard is this year’s biggest gainer, in dollar terms.

Allianz Asset Management of America, the German insurer’s Newport Beach, California–based U.S. operation, is the only top five firm to suffer an AUM decline, largely owing to losses at its Pacific Investment Management Co. unit. PIMCO’s assets dropped from $1.9 trillion to $1.7 trillion after famed bond manager Bill Gross departed for Janus Capital Management last fall.

To view the complete ranking, click on America’s Top 300 Money Managers in the navigation table at right. Subscribers can access additional data, including details on the firms’ portfolio mixes, a roster of the Biggest Dollar Gainers and Losers, Largest Tax-Exempt Asset Managers and more.

For information on how this ranking was compiled, click on Methodology.

How This Ranking Was Compiled

The II300 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 accounts of customers for which an organization has contractual authority to make buy and sell decisions.

Institutional Investor asks firms to report assets under management for their entire organizations — including subsidiaries. The ranking includes insurance companies, banks, investment management firms, internally managed pension funds, mutual fund firms and hedge funds. Domestic and non-U.S. equities include convertibles. American depositary receipts are included in non-U.S. equities. Domestic and non-U.S. fixed income includes preferred stock and mortgage-backed securities. Real estate includes debt and equity. Alternative investments may include derivatives, venture capital, oil and gas, timberland and hedge fund investments. Tax-exempt holdings represent assets from tax-exempt sources, such as pension funds, foundations and endowments.

All figures are through December 31 of the given year unless indicated otherwise.

The ranking was compiled by Researcher Valentina McKenzie, under the supervision of Senior Research Editor Jane B. Kenney.

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