Total global real estate assets under management (AUM) hit a record €3.2 trillion at the end of 2019, representing an increase of 15.7% from the €2.8 trillion recorded at the end of 2018, according to the Fund Manager Survey 2020, published by ANREV, INREV and NCREIF.
The growth in total AUM was largely attributable to increased investor inflows and capital appreciation, says INREV.
The Blackstone Group tops the list with AUM of nearly €250 billion, ahead of Brookfield Asset Management with €180 billion and PGIM Real Estate with €159.8 billion. Nuveen and Hines complete the line-up of top five mangers with €118.3 billion and €117.7 billion, respectively.
Collectively, this year’s top 10 asset managers account for around 40% of the overall total, each achieving at least €85 billion of AUM.
Despite the gap in average AUM separating the top 10 managers from the rest, the overall growth rate for medium and smaller managers outstripped that for larger managers at 18.6% and 11.5%, respectively.
For managers in certain sectors, growth has also been helped by continuing changes in consumer behaviour. The upsurge in online shopping, for example, has positively impacted the logistics sector helping Prologis to increase its AUM by almost 25%, from €84.8 billion to €105.6 billion, and placing it sixth in the overall rankings.
Regionally, managers focused on North American strategies account for the highest percentage of total AUM at 36.6%, closely followed by those in Europe with 33.8%, while managers in Asia Pacific contributed 16.7% to the total.
PGIM leads the North American rankings, while CapitaLand is the largest manager in Asia Pacific with AUM of €55.7 billion. Swiss Life Asset Managers is No.1 in Europe with €89.8 billion of AUM, which also pushes it into the overall top 10 list for the first time. The firm’s growth exemplifies the increasing trend of investors leveraging their platforms to raise and manage third-party capital.
A substantial 82.2% (€2.6 trillion) of total AUM in 2019 was accounted for by non-listed real estate vehicles. In Europe, non-listed makes up more than 90% of AUM; in North America it is 79.3% and it is 71.2% in Asia Pacific
Funds account for 44.6% of the non-listed real estate vehicles total, making them the most popular form of investment structure regardless of geography. Of the notable alternative vehicle types, non-listed debt products are more preferred in North America than elsewhere, where they account for 14.3% of AUM, compared with 3.6% in Europe and 1.3% in Asia Pacific.
The survey results also highlight the continuing trend for market consolidation. As in 2019, 20% of respondents reported having been involved in M&A activity over the past decade, with a third of them citing a desire to extend their geographic reach as a key motivation.
”The scale and prominence of the largest managers continues apace, but growth across the board is impressive. And behind the numbers there are some interesting stories to tell. The investor / manager hybrid is clearly making its presence felt and we could see much more of this in the future. Likewise, appetite for consolidation shows no signs of abating and will likely only accelerate in the current market conditions,” said Henri Vuong, INREV’s Director of Research and Market Information.