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Global mutual fund industry sees rapid growth

The global mutual fund industry’s assets have grown more than sevenfold in the last two decades, according to a research report by ICI Global.

The paper offers a statistical analysis – the first of its kind conducted on post-2008 financial crisis data – of the numbers of mutual funds and assets under management in various regions around the world.
It also details the prerequisites for mutual fund growth, such as strong, appropriate regulation and capital markets, and the primary factors driving fund growth, such as a country’s economic development and demographics and whether a country has a defined contribution (DC) plan that allows participants to invest in mutual funds.
The report, Globalisation and the Global Growth of Long-Term Mutual Funds, finds that mutual funds worldwide have experienced strong growth in assets over the past two decades, increasing from USD4trn in 1993 to almost USD29trn in September 2013. This growth reflects increases in each of four broad regions—the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the rest of the world.  Broken out by region:
·         The US market expanded nearly 600 per cent, to USD14.3trn in assets
·         European markets grew 640 per cent, to nearly USD9trn
·         Asia-Pacific fund assets rose 450 per cent, to USD3.3trn
·         Fund assets in the rest of the world—including Canada, Chile, and Brazil—grew 2,200 per cent, to USD2.3trn
“The data paints a picture of a booming environment for mutual funds,” says ICI senior economist Chris Plantier, author of the report. “Though local factors, such as high returns on Brazilian bond funds, and changes in statistical reporting are behind some of the more exceptional growth seen in the rest of the world region, the research shows that, worldwide, investors are expressing a clear demand for mutual funds as a savings vehicle.”

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