Edelman Smithfield’s Asset Management Brand Index is a biennial study which provides a brand ranking for the 50 largest global institutional managers and the 40 largest UK wholesale/retail asset managers, based on the views of major investment consultants, IFAs and senior investment media. Respondents are asked to rank these companies against a range of factors, from their awareness levels and uniqueness, through to their corporate culture, investment talent and process, and the quality of their executive management.

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Top 5 FindingS

Key Themes


Standing out is harder to do as a “Great Amorphisation” takes hold in the asset management industry

Perceptions of asset managers’ brands among their buyers are experiencing a vortex-like pull towards the middle ground, resulting in a pervasive sense of homogeneity.


Corporate actions remain a major determinant of  
brand perception

Whilst the risers and fallers in the Index tend to move incrementally, shifting up or down slowly over multiple years, reflecting gradual perception shifts, the most dramatic YOY drops usually correspond with major corporate changes.



Struggles to communicate cultural USPs indicate trials ahead in the war for talent

No companies in the institutional or wholesale markets scored in the “strong” bracket (80%+) for their corporate culture. This data comes against the backdrop of fund houses competing increasingly fiercely with one another, as well as with other industries, for talent – in particular, diverse talent. 


Management teams have the power to shape an investment 
firm’s brand identity

Perception of the management team is closely correlated with the overall perception of an asset manager’s brand. But there is apparent widespread under-utilisation of this asset - no management teams are classed in the “very strong” bracket.



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