The UK investment management industry is returning to pre-crisis levels of assets under management (AUM), with managers reporting an average growth of 13% this year.
In a study of 17 investment managers in the UK, all but three reported AUM above pre-crisis levels, according to professional services firm KPMG's Financial Reporting by Investment Managers 2014 (FRIM) report.
Man Group, F&C Asset Management and Record fell short of their pre-crisis levels, while Hargreaves Lansdown showed the greatest increase in AUM since 2007/8, followed by Ashmore Group.
The report, which analyses the most recent annual reports of the UK's largest investment managers, says that firms whose AUM grew by more than 10% this year attributed the rise to net inflows, improved equity market performance and favourable exchange rate movements.
The growth in assets is in line with growth in employment in the industry, which saw a 4.5% increase in the first half of this year.
Jon Mills, investment management partner at KPMG, says that the expanding industry is providing new opportunities for firms through technology, developing markets and changing demographics.
"The difficulty of responding to these changes will be compounded as they come at a time when firms are under increasing pressure to demonstrate corporate governance, improve reputation, address remuneration, reduce fees and adapt to new regulation," he says.
He adds that though change might be daunting, firms that keep investors, regulators and other stakeholders informed will be positioned for long-term growth.
KMPG's 2014 research also revealed that the industry is still a male-dominated arena, with investment management firms recording an average of 15% female board members and just 4% at executive director level.
These figures are significantly lower than recommendations such as the European Commission's proposal for a directive introducing a minimum representation of women on the boards of listed companies of 40% by 2020.
Melanie Richards, partner and vice chairman at KPMG, says that despite good progress in recent years, there is still some way to go.
"We will only really take a quantum leap towards better gender balance when organisations treat this as a mainstream, not a 'diversity' issue," she adds.
©2014 funds europe