The Granular Nature of Large Institutional Investors

The U.S. asset management industry has become increasingly concentrated in recent times. Over the last 35 years, the largest institutional investors have quadrupled their holdings in the equity market. As of September 2015, the largest asset manager oversaw 5.1% of the total equity assets in SEC 13F filings, and the largest 10 managers managed 23.4% of these assets, which represents about 35% of overall institution ownership. Such concentration of assets held by the largest asset managers is arguably associated with increased risk concentration, which can have a systematic impact. In other words, the risk that the largest institutions pose is that idiosyncratic shocks to any large individual player in an economy is hardly diversifiable, due to their sheer size.

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