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Friday, March 13, 2015

Even More Asset Managers' Margins Are Falling

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Even more asset managers suffered falling margins last quarter.

DST's kasina just released its calendar fourth quarter 2014 analysis of the results of 17 publicly-traded asset managers and the four wirehouses. The consulting shop found that 12 of the 17 asset managers in question suffered a drop in operating margins in calendar Q4 2014, while only five (AB [profile], BlackRock [profile], Federated [profile], Invesco [profile], and Janus [profile]) saw margins rise.

That compares with calendar Q3 2014, when seven of the 17 suffered a margin drop. And in calendar Q2 2014, only four of the 17 suffered such a drop.

Larry Petrone, kasina's new director of product consulting and research, points out that at times the markets in 2014 were tougher in 2013, and those fluctuations hit asset managers AUMs' (which hit their bottom lines). He also points to expense issues, notably rising compensation and distribution costs, as putting pressure on margins.

On the bright side, only eight of the 17 asset managers suffered negative net flows in calendar Q4 2014, and only six suffered a decline in AUM.

The publicly-traded asset managers incorporated into kasina's data include: AB, AMG [profile], Artisan [profile], BlackRock, Calamos [profile], Cohen & Steers [profile], Eaton Vance [profile], Federated, Franklin Templeton [profile], Gamco [profile], Invesco, Janus, Legg Mason [profile], Pzena [profile], SEI [profile], T. Rowe Price [profile], and Waddell & Reed [profile]. 

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