- Cerulli's U.S. market sizing shows 1.7% year-over-year growth rate in addressable assets
- Retail AUM are more than $18 trillion as of year-end 2015
- ension risk transfer options are one of several drivers bolstering retail asset growth
According to global research and consulting firm Cerulli Associates, retail asset growth has managed to outpace institutional asset growth on a one-, three-, five-, and ten-year basis, reaching more than $18 trillion as of year-end 2015.
"A low-yield environment and a rise in average life expectancy is making it difficult for defined benefit (DB) plans to achieve returns to fund liabilities," explains Jennifer Muzerall, associate director at Cerulli. "In recent years, sponsors have offered lump sums or buyouts to reduce the number of participants in DB plans via pension risk transfers."
Pension risk transfer options are one of several drivers bolstering retail asset growth since asset managers have begun to explore the delivery of a wider variety of products and strategies through retail intermediaries. "The growth of retail assets has also been driven by the convergence of institutional-like strategies in the retail marketplace, such as alternatives," says Muzerall.
Cerulli recommends that firms should continue to invest in distribution professionals and educational programs to get advisors comfortable with using alternatives. "It is important to work with advisors to show them how using alternatives or increasing allocations may impact their investment portfolios," explains Muzerall.
"Asset managers must build out robust key account teams to face off with members of investment research or due diligence teams," states Muzerall. Top asset managers surveyed recognize a need to accommodate the increasing sophistication of buying groups emerging within the intermediary channels. "The institutional sales process is making its way into retail channels and asset managers are seeking out relationships with top registered investment advisors and due diligence groups from both broker/dealer (B/D) home offices and B/D mega teams," says Muzerall.
Cerulli's latest report, The State of U.S. Retail and Institutional Asset Management 2016: Business Planning for Growth Opportunities, provides a comprehensive overview of the aggregate U.S. asset management landscape, benefitting both U.S. asset managers and those seeking distribution opportunities in the U.S. It explores all distribution channels, client segments, and product vehicles, with a focus on the interaction between the retail and institutional marketplaces.