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Alternative Market Briefing

Asset managers take advantage of strong capital markets, boost headcount, and compensation

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Laxman Pai, Opalesque Asia:

Listed asset managers, which hit record revenues and assets under management in the first quarter of 2021, are increasing their overall headcount and compensation said a study.

According to asset management strategy consultant Casey Quirk, a Deloitte business, many asset managers are taking advantage of strong capital markets, putting resources toward alternatives, sustainable investments, and ETFs.

Casey Quirk's analysis of 26 listed asset managers with a combined $20 trillion in AUM as of March 31, 2021, shows aggregate revenue increased 20% in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the first quarter of 2020 and 3% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

AUM rose 30% compared with the first quarter of 2020 and 3% compared with the fourth quarter of that year, said the survey.

A year ago, many managers were facing a rapidly falling equities market as the pandemic was unfolding. As a result, year-over-year performance metrics were skewed relative to prior years.

Overall, profit margins have recovered since the pandemic-induced market dip in the first quarter of 2020 and are now closer to levels seen in 2018. Despite median profit margin growth across the board, there is a wide gap between alternatives and traditional listed asset managers.

Alternatives managers, or those primarily focused on private markets, reported a first-quarter 2021 median operating margin of 46% versus 26% for traditional asset managers, primarily bec......................

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