The State of U.S. Retail and Institutional Asset Management 2020

Uncovering Addressable Assets Across Client Channels

The Entire U.S. Asset Management Landscape, All in One Report

  • Review comprehensive market sizing and major trends evolving within the retail and institutional asset management industry
  • Evaluate how asset managers need to be positioning various business functions (e.g., distribution, product) to take advantage of industry disruption resulting from COVID-19
  • Review how assets in retail and institutional client channels are shifting and which segments can be expected to grow more than others moving forward
  • Learn how investor appetite for various investment vehicle wrappers is changing and how asset managers need to offer their strategies to different client segments
  • Understand the role that intermediaries (e.g., broker/dealer home offices, consultants) have in the distribution landscape and how that role is evolving


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Report US OCIO 2020 Detail

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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Specialist


This report provides a comprehensive overview of the aggregate U.S. asset management landscape. It is intended for U.S. asset managers, or those seeking distribution opportunities in the United States, and provides a quantitative evaluation that sizes the current addressable U.S. asset management landscape, covering all distribution channels, client segments, and product vehicles within the retail and institutional marketplaces—with emphasis on the interaction between these two segments.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note from the Author

How Can Managers Battle Fee Compression?

Brendan Powers, CFA

Brendan Powers, CFA

Associate Director

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Brendan Powers, CFA

Brendan Powers, CFA

Associate Director

Brendan is a member of Cerulli’s Product Development practice, which focuses on trends related to asset managers’ product development and management functions. This broadly includes assessing the opportunity for product development, evaluating emerging product trends, and understanding distribution and product positioning for investment products across retail and institutional channels.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Brendan worked as a Senior Client Associate at Eaton Vance Management, focusing primarily on the firm’s exchange funds.

Full biography here.

In 2019, two-thirds of mutual fund product executives indicated they were reducing fees through expense limitations, while another 39% planned to reduce their management fees. Furthermore, managers intended to broaden the investors that are eligible for lower-cost double-zero (e.g., institutional share) and triple-zero share classes (e.g., R6 share), which don’t charge sales loads or 12b-1 fees, and in the case of triple-zero, don’t charge sub-TA fees. Finally, nearly 80% of mutual fund managers reported that they planned to prioritize development and distribution of other vehicles (e.g., ETFs, CITs) over the mutual fund to lower the cost of their strategies for certain investors.

How have these projections changed and how has COVID-19 shaped these trends in 2020? In addition to answering these questions, this report sizes the current addressable U.S. asset management landscape, and provides granular coverage from both a channel focus, such as financial advisors, defined benefit, defined contribution, insurance general accounts, foundations and endowments, subadvisory, defined contribution investment-only (DCIO), and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), as well as coverage of specific investment products and vehicles such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), retail and institutional separate accounts, annuities, collective investment trusts (CITs), and hedge funds. This report is meant to be used as a business tool for asset managers to evaluate their current and potential asset-gathering opportunities.

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