Number of French AM workers up 3.4% yoy in 2016

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French financial market watchdog AMF has published key figures of the French asset management industry in 2016.

It found out that some 16,478 professionals worked within local asset managers as of 31 December 2016, up 3.4% year-on-year, from 15,931 at the end of 2015.

It is the fourth consecutive annual rise reported by AMF which explained that it was mostly due to the increase in the number of French AM jobs other than portfolio management roles.

The share of portfolio managers into the French AM workforce has dropped to 26.6%, slightly down from 27.3% at the end of 2015.

Supportive functions, in particular related to compliance and internal control, are on the rise, AMF said, amid a context of a multiplication of regulations.

The local regulator also noted that the 40 most important asset managers (in terms of employees) gathered 54.6% of the French AM workforce and 44.3% of all portfolio managers based in France while representing only 7% of the local asset management industry as a whole.

Some 73.1% of French asset managers had less than 20 individuals in their team as of 31 December 2016 (against 75.8% in December 2015).

Boutiques on the rise
The share of entrepreneurial boutiques in France accounted for 65.4% of the whole local AM industry, constantly up since 2008 (52.5% as of 31 December 2008)) despite a slight decline in 2015.

At the end of 2016, they managed assets of €249bn, i.e. 6.8% of the total assets under management of the French market.

French boutiques’ market share has increased by 14.7% since 2015 and by 56.4% since 2010 according to AMF’s data.

“An explanation of this growth is the dynamism of that population that generates ever more vocations, in particular from former workers of large financial groups who wish to put their skills at the disposal of an entrepreneurial boutique,” the regulator commented.

61.2% of total French industry’s AuM managed by investment arms of credit institutions
Around 18.8% of the French asset managers were owned by financial institutions in 2016.

At the end of the year, they were managing €2.24trn of assets, i.e. 61.2% of the local market’s AuM.

AMF highlighted a strong concentration of assets in this segment as the five dominant investment firms held by credit institutions gathered 63% of the assets managed by this type of players in France.

Another finding of the regulator’s research is that asset managers owned by insurance and mutual businesses, financial services providers and public companies managed almost a third of the French industry’s AuM as at the end of 2016.

The asset management branches of French insurance and mutual firms formed 6% of all asset managers and managed €942bn of assets (25.7% of the whole industry’s assets), up 14.8% year-on-year in December 2016.

At the same time, the proportion of managers owned by French financial services providers has slumped by 9.8% compared to 2015. The segment has been impacted by a strong M&A activity as well as internal reshapes.

These companies accounted for 7.8% of the industry and had €13bn of assets – 0.4% of the French AM industry’s AuM – as at the end of 2016.

Lastly, companies under French public law represented 2% of all managers in France in 2016 with €220bn of assets under management.

French asset managers have 11 years old on average
AMF reported that French asset managers had 11 years old on average in 2016. Half of the asset management companies had over 10 years of existence while firms aged six to ten years and three to five years accounted for 26% and 13% respectively in the market.

In addition, 11% of the French asset managers have a life of less than three years.

Read more about AMF’s research here (in French only).