U.S. retail assets are close to overtaking institutional assets, and open-ended mutual funds still are the king of investment vehicles, but collective investment trusts are growing more popular as a low-cost, more flexible alternative to mutual funds, according to new research from Ceruilli Associates.
Overall, the report shows the amount of professionally managed assets in the U.S. is $46 trillion, a 15% increase over the previous year. Those assets are closely split between retail (47.8%) and institutional (52.2%), and the data shows a growing shift to retail from institutional. In 2007, the amount of assets was closer to 60% institutional versus 40% retail, Brendan Powers, senior analyst and lead author of the report, told ThinkAdvisor. The study also found retail client assets having a 19.6% year-over-year growth versus 10.9% for institutional client assets.
“Part of the growth of retail is chunks of assets are moving from traditionally institutional client channels to retail client channels,” he said. “the best example is an IRA rollover, moving out of [defined contribution] or pension plans, to be managed by an advisor.”
Most of this is due to the aging demographics of the United States, he explained. “The baby boomers are retiring and taking distributions from employee-sponsored retired accounts and rolling them into IRAs or to RIAs,” he said.
Another part of the growth has been the continued bull run in the stock market, which more retail is exposed to while institutional channels have placed more in fixed income products, he noted.