What is the "McK/B/BCG" of asset management?? (e.g. - the unanimously agreed upon top firms)

blueadams's picture
Rank: Baboon | banana points 150

If one wants to have a successful management consulting career (or eventually wants to become a ceo), chosing a firm is simple...go for the top three...McKinsey, bain, or Boston Consulting group. If one wants to have a successful accounting career, again, chosing a firm is simple...go for the big four...(I've never bothered to look them up).

BUT...

If one wants to have a successful Asset Management career, chosing a firm is not so simple....

So, my question is this - What are the unanimously agreed upon top firms in the field of asset management (e.g. what mck/b/BCG is to management consulting)?? If I had the qualifications to work for anyone in asset management - and wanted to be very successful eventually - what would be the best fims to work for?

Thank you very much in advance for any help!

Best,

Blue

Comments (35)

Jun 21, 2010

BlackRock is one. Also all banks have private banking/ asset management arms. Jpm has a really top notch asset management division.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Our-Top-Two-Picks-in...

Jun 21, 2010

PIMCO. Fidelity is also well-regarded.

Jun 21, 2010

PIMCO, blackrock, wellington, fidelity

also, asset management divisions of goldman sachs and JP Morgan are top notch.

Jun 21, 2010

blackrock
gsam
jpm am
pimco
fidelity
State Street Global Advisors

"What we can, we must; and because we can, we must"

Jun 21, 2010

I would add Capital Group to this list.

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Dec 9, 2010
jankynoname:

I would add Capital Group to this list.

i second that. they tend to be publicity shy but it's well regarded in the industry.

Jun 21, 2010

Vanguard

Jun 21, 2010

I realize it's like comparing apples and oranges, but how do these places compare in prestige (within the financial community, and with B-school adcoms) against the BBs? Never see these places get mentioned on this forum; is it because not many people are interested in these firms or because they take only more senior professionals?

Jun 21, 2010

B-school adcoms at all the top schools will be very familiar with these firms. My guess is they're regarded just as highly as BB banks, but slightly lower than the top tier PE or consulting shops.

Within finance, it's probably a buy-side / sell-side rivalry, right? All the guys at the top buy-side shops probably turn up their noses at the bankers, and visa versa... but then again I have no clue (just a consultant).

Jun 21, 2010

It depends on the security / style
equity vs fi
then subdivision eg: equity -> value, growth, int'l etc...

This has been convered briefly before.

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Jun 23, 2010

how do you pick the best? avg returns? comp?

just know the buyside pays less than sellside, especially mutual funds

Jul 3, 2010

Beg to differ with JP/GS - in general I think the asset management divisions inside the banks are not as well regarded by the institutional investment community. The larger top firms are Blackrock, PIMCO, GMO, Wellington

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Jul 7, 2010

JPM - equity & fixed income
GSAM
Blackrock
PIMCO - dominates the fixed income universe
Dreyfus
Columbia

JPM, GS, WF, and BAC (they own part of Blackrock) are really the only BB ibanks that have top notch AM arms. The other banks like DB, CS, MS don't have clout.

Jul 16, 2010
kingtut:

JPM - equity & fixed income
GSAM
Blackrock
PIMCO - dominates the fixed income universe
Dreyfus
Columbia

JPM, GS, WF, and BAC (they own part of Blackrock) are really the only BB ibanks that have top notch AM arms. The other banks like DB, CS, MS don't have clout.

WF is a bit player and does not have a AM division that is viewed as top notch. Blackrock is NOT BAC's asset management group. They own about 1/3 of BLK and by no means does either party view themselves as part of the other. On the other side of the equation, DB has a very large fixed income AM group and is a significant player with certain institutional investors. They have plenty of clout in the market.

Jul 7, 2010

BlackRock churns out a lot of index funds--they have a huge business but a lot of it is not actively managed at all. JPMAM and GSAM are probably the strongest of the BBs, and PIMCO is damn good at what they do.

Jun 21, 2010

PIMCO is probably the toughest AM firm to get a job at.

Jul 21, 2010

PIMCO is definitely most legit

Jul 25, 2010

BlackRock is absolutely NOT baml's AM group.. they actually COMPETE with each other in some spaces.

If we're talking about AM in terms of funds business..

BlackRock
PIMCO
Wellington
Vanguard
Fidelity

JPM and GSAM lack severely in their funds business and are known more from private banking..

Aug 28, 2016

Here is the answer to the original question:

Equities:
Tier I: Capital Group, Dodge & Cox
Tier 2: Fidelity, Wellington, T. Rowe
There's lots of other smaller respectable firms, but the OP asked for the 'big 3/big 4'.

Fixed Income:
Tier I: PIMCO

As you can see, I've excluded the the firms that provide passively managed fund products (index, ETF's, etc.). Yes, they are big, profitable business, but their employees do not necessarily hold prestigue within the world of active investors.

Prestigue is determined by where the top talent wants to be. The top talent follows the dollars. And the dollars are determined by AUM / number of investment professionals, simplistically speaking.

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Mar 15, 2016

d&c for FI too

Mar 23, 2019

I agree with the equities tier. Analyst at Capital is on par with anywhere due to the money managed by analysts. It's a unique structure but analysts manage as much as some PMs at other shops. Analysts and even PMs from other shops will jump to Capital if an opportunity opens up. Dodge and cox is also top tier. The issue with places like this is that rarely do positions open up and there is definitely a ceiling if you are at the associate level. It's usually a post (top 5) MBA plus bulge bracket or regarded buyside before and after MBA type entry. Some MBAs get in with a summer internship but it's rare and usually only one per year.

The different with Fidelity and T Rowe is that it is fund dependent. Some are extremely respected across the industry (New Horizons at T Rowe) but experiences may vary.

Mar 23, 2019

And add Wellington to the list. There are some really talented investors there.

Best Response
Dec 9, 2010

AM Is far too broad a career path. It can mean simply allocating portfolios to asset classes, doing fundamental analysis on stocks, quant trading and anything in between. Do you mean HFs? PWM? Stock picking? Manager research? You can't compare.

There is one massive difference between banking and AM: small is generally better in AM. Shops like T. Rowe Price and Fidelity are so big that there is very little active management going on there - they basically own everything. They may SAY they are active managers but no one can truly manage a trillion dollars actively - those guys are essentially enhanced indexers.

I'm not big on the AM side of banks. I may be biased because they hire smaller boutiques and HFs to manage $$$ for them.

The best place to be is a HF or a boutique asset manager that can basically do whatever it wants with its AUM. I would rather work for Einhorn at Greenlight or Greenblatt at Gotham any day of the week than some big factory that has commercial during college football games.

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Dec 9, 2010

"BlackRock is absolutely NOT baml's AM group.."

BlackRock was owned by MY at one time. They actually have a pretty convoluted ownership history

Feb 10, 2016

What are your thoughts about BNY Mellon? Finding it hard to assess it's reputation, as I'm beeing new to this industry. Thanks.

Feb 26, 2016

If you're referring to the Dreyfus funds, then you are on the right track. If you are referring to the majority of BO fund accounting positions at BNY Mellon, then look elsewhere.

Feb 10, 2016

What do you think about Alcentra? Also part of BNY Group. Thanks for your quick answer...

Mar 21, 2019

Allianz Global Investors, Fidelity, Wellington

All the others previously mentioned are going passive and BB banks are notoriously not as good as these three for AM, not even close.

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Mar 21, 2019

Rumors this week have it that AGI might be interested in acquiring DWS (DB Asset Management) that was spun out last year. I think Reuters reported. That would be an interesting development because Allianz were then owning another >1tn asset manager next to PIMCO.

Mar 21, 2019

How do you think this could impact junior people currently working at AGI? The organization could become more beuroceatic and less lean but at the same time the larger size could translate into higher prestige maybe. Do you think it will be overall a plus or a minus for junior people who are currently working at AGI?

Mar 21, 2019

Biased towards more boutique type names for equities but generally:

Equities - Harris associates, duff and Phelps, Royce and associates, hotchkis and Wiley, artisan, Ruane cuniff and goldfarb. Also, the big AMs have some top talent but not sure how much this has shifted over the years: Fidelity, Wellington, etc.

Fixed income: pimco, TCW, doubleline, neuberger berman, and others. Obviously if you want to do distressed/cuspier debt investing then you'd want to look at either the top distressed firms and also some CLO managers. All those names are on the forum in other places

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Mar 21, 2019

Not duff and Phelps haha -dodge and cox **

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