UK pension fund assets have increased from 72% to 91% of GDP in the last four years and represent nearly 40% of Europe's total pension fund assets, according to the latest William M Mercer European Pension Fund Managers' Guide.
The Guide draws on data supplied by 172 fund managers from 17 countries, serving clients in 30 European countries.
The report also highlights that specialist mandates have increased by 31% in the UK in the last two years. Within eurozone the number of domestic bond and domestic equity mandates has fallen by 92% and 60% respectively over the past two years and a major shift is evident from domestic to eurozone investment.
Investment managers continue to expand - the average number of countries where they have offices has grown from 2.8 to 3.3 in the last year. US managers, in particular, have increased their presence in Europe and over a quarter of fund managers were involved in mergers and acquisitions in the last year.
Barclays Global Investors (BGI) remains at the top of the European rankings by size of pension fund assets under management - US$115bn in 2000. Merrill Lynch Mercury Asset Management has moved from third to second place, overtaking Schroder Investment Management.
The largest growth in European pension fund assets has been in the Netherlands (up from 121% to 162% of GDP), Sweden (up from 77% to 112%) and Denmark (up from 76% to 100%).
By Janet Du Chenne
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