Decoding the $4.1trn AUM universe – report

The top 10 managers accounted for 37% of the overall AUM in 2020, continuing the industry consolidation trend, according to the latest survey by industry organizations NCREIF, INREV and ANREV.

Total real estate assets under management increased 11 percent to $4.1 trillion in 2020, compared to $3.9 trillion a year before, as the biggest managers in the asset class continue to get bigger.

According to the Fund Manager Survey 2021 jointly published by industry organizations NCREIF, INREV and ANREV last week, the 10 largest managers each reported AUMs of more than $100 billion last year. While New York-based Blackstone has continued to remain the unrivalled leader, followed by North American firms Brookfield and Prologis, this is the first year that Singapore-based firm CapitaLand made it into the top 10 list, becoming the only Asia-Pacific firm to do so. Meanwhile, AXA IM Alts is the largest European manager in the survey at the fifth position.

The 2021 survey, featuring responses from 154 global real estate managers, was carried out using a revised, and more streamlined, research definition of AUM to ensure “greater consistency in reporting.” PERE understands a few additions were made to how firms should report their AUM. For one, the AUM needed to be reported in terms of gross managed assets at the market value, including leverage.

This should also have included 100 percent of the owned assets, and only the percent share owned in the case of joint ventures and club deals. In addition, the survey also asked respondents to exclude assets under administration, such as fund accounting and fiduciary services only.

“Over the past year, ANREV, INREV, NCREIF and PREA reporting standards together with the Global Standards Steering Committee conducted an in-depth consultation to assess and bring greater consistency to the definition of AUM, including calculation methodologies,” the survey noted. “This exercise has resulted in a creation of a research definition of AUM which has been applied by all participants in this year’s Fund Manager Survey to their data submissions. This explains why some of the results from the current survey may seem substantially different from those in previous years.”

Here are some key findings from the report, which break down the AUM into different regions, sources of capital as well as how it has been impacted by the growing wave of M&A transactions in recent years.