Multimanagement Products Set to Surge

June 20, 2002 ( - Multimanagement is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of asset management and is predicted to pass $1 trillion in assets within four years, according to a report.

According to Cerulli Associates’ The International Multimanager Marketplace, multimanager assets under management totaled $489 billion at year-end 2001, representing a compound annual growth rate of about 15% since 1999.

Recent multimanager growth has come from outside the US. Continental Europe will be the engine of future expansion, the researchers said.

Multimanager growth was a stark contrast to worldwide mutual fund assets, which were flat during the same period, Cerulli said.


According to Cerulli, multimanager products can offer the following benefits for clients:

  • lower risk through diversification of managers, styles, and asset classes
  • more tax-efficiency than separately managed accounts

Funds of Funds

European and other international players are introducing funds of funds as a cautious and strategically sound way of offering third-party asset management, the study noted.

Unfettered or third-party funds currently represent 17% of total fund-of-funds assets under management, and, Cerulli said the potential for unfettered strategies is strong.

There is debate regarding the relative merits of fund-of-funds approaches versus manager-of-managers strategies, according to the report.

Some argue that the former are more nimble and lend themselves to active management, while others believe the latter boast a more scientific investment process and prove more cost-effective for manufacturers and investors alike.

Future Tense

The Cerulli study also forecast that:

  • non-US investors’ diversification into equities and foreign asset classes will continue,
  • new investors in less developed markets will continue to turn to multimanager funds for embedded advice and simplicity, and
  • pension reform and the development of European institutional markets will in time benefit managers of managers