The Top 30 Explained

The China Asset Manager Top 30 is a listing of the biggest players in China’s asset management industry. It comprises 14 fund management companies, eight insurance asset management companies, six bank wealth management companies, one pension management company and one securities company.

  • Fund management companies (FMCs) were the first asset managers established in China market. Traditionally they mainly serve retail investors, but in recent years they have increased institutional client numbers very rapidly through segregated account offerings. FMCs are recognized for their active management skills in equity and bond markets.
  • Insurance asset management companies are typical institutional asset managers. The majority of the money they manage comes from their parent insurers. However, leading insurance asset managers are increasingly putting themselves in the market, winning mandates from other institutions. Their professional expertise tilts toward bond and private debt investment.
  • Bank wealth management companies (BWMCs) are a brand-new category of asset managers, having come into existence only in 2019 when leading banks were encouraged by CBIRC to convert their wealth management departments into BWMCs. Although known as “wealth management companies”, they are actually designed as asset managers with a broad investment scope including both the public and private markets. With vast experience in fixed-income and money market investment, they are actively developing skillsets in equity investment.
  • Pension management companies (PMCs) are also relatively new players in the market, with the first PMC established in 2004. PMCs manage pillar one (public pensions) and pillar two (corporate pensions) money and also issue private pension investment products to individuals. With an aging population and fast-growing pension assets in China, PMCs are moving up rapidly as key managers and allocators in the investment space.
  • Securities companies/brokers usually have an asset management department or an asset management subsidiary mainly catering to institutional clients and HNWIs. They have much overlap in core skills with FMCs.

Collectively, the top 30 asset managers have a total AUM of EUR 5.41 trillion, accounting for 35.19% of the industry total.

In the past five years, we can see that CSRC-regulated FMCs have been well established and stabilized, whereas there are more growth and dynamics in the CBIRC-regulated asset manager categories. This is also reflected in the Top 30 list: the newly established BWMCs have taken six new seats in the list, with CBIRC firms accounting for half of the top 30 and four of the top five. This is a marked change on five years ago when FMCs were more dominant.

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