BlackRock, JP Morgan, Fidelity top latest Broadridge Fund Brand 50 ranking

Jonathan Boyd
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BlackRock, JP Morgan, Fidelity top latest Broadridge Fund Brand 50 ranking

The latest edition of the annual Fund Brand 50 list published by Broadridge Financial Solutions shows that there was no movement over the past year in the top four brands in the list, which was headed by BlackRock followed by JP Morgan AM, Fidelity and Pictet AM.

The findings are based on the views of some 850 fund selectors across Europe, in 10 countries, responsible for some €3trn of assets.

According to Robeco, which jumped two places to rank 5th this year, the study suggests that there there is market demand for groups "able to demonstrate purpose beyond asset gathering", despite growing appetite for low cost passive funds and a commoditisation trend.

Mauro Baratta, vice president, Distribution Insight, Broadridge, said: "2019 was a challenging year for asset managers as market uncertainty drove investors to place their big bets with the passive houses. This masked growing support for some mature groups in transition, as well as smaller rising stars. Supermarket brands expanding or entering the passive arena played out particularly well for Amundi and Fidelity, but smaller groups also enjoyed brand development. Uniting these varied success stories was a clear purpose and conviction in delivering a rewarding client experience. The brands that will grow and endure are those that can offer an experience that goes beyond the simple price and performance proposition."

Gains in rankings were not attributed to any one size of manager. Boutiques Degroof Petercam and Bellevue made their first appearance in the rankings. Lazard, Artemis and Capital Group are examples of mid-sized players advancing. While US giant Vanguard made gains on the basis of its approach to fees and client service, taking it to 20th position.

Focus on fees also saw iShares gain three places to 13th, its highest ever rank, the survey notes.

Top 10 cross-border groups ranked by total brand score

Rank

Fund Group

Rank Change

1

BlackRock

0

2

JPMorgan AM

0

3

Fidelity

0

4

Pictet AM

0

5

Robeco

+2

6

Schroders

0

7

Amundi

+3

8

Natixis

+3

9

M&G Investments

-4

10

Pimco

+3

Data source: Broadridge

Additional findings from this year's study include:

  • The rising importance of the client relationship and its impact on brand. The days of mass marketing have gone, and a more individualised approach that responds to the specific needs of each distribution partner is expected.
  • The narrowing gap between JPMorgan and Fidelity, which are closing in on Europe's long-standing brand leader, BlackRock. The leader's score declined further in 2019, its allure possibly suffering dilution from the success of its subsidiary, iShares, whose brand is measured separately.
  • The challenges faced by some of Europe's key consumer-facing brands.
  • Mixed messages behind ESG as a brand driver of success; its impact on brand remains low, but evidence is growing of the need for groups to pay more than lip service to their commitments. European groups are ahead of this curve - Robeco ranking first and Candriam second.

Jonathan Boyd
Author spotlight

Jonathan Boyd

Editorial Director of Open Door Media Publishing Ltd, and Editor of InvestmentEurope.