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Largest Alternative Asset Managers by AUM in 2024

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Franklin Silva
Updated
May 21, 2024

Asset managers oversee the investment and management of financial assets on behalf of their clients, which can be institutional or individual investors. Alternative asset managers invest in non-traditional financial products or apply non-traditional investing techniques to enhance returns for their investors.

The adoption of alternative investments, also called “alternatives or alts,” is growing rapidly as investors seek better returns. Alternative assets have been a favourite of institutional investors, but they’re quickly becoming more popular among individual investors.

While more investors are adopting alternative assets, those already in are increasing their capital allocation to alts. Consequently, the value of alternative assets under management is forecast to surpass $23 trillion by 2026, from $10 trillion in 2019, according to Ernst & Young.

Alternative investment managers come in a variety of sizes and shapes. However, most investors seem to prefer investing with large asset managers. The value of assets under management (AUM) is the popular metric for ranking asset managers by size. 

Here’s the list of the largest alternative asset managers in the world by assets under management in 2024:

Largest Alternative Asset Managers by AUM in 2024

Alternative Asset Managers AUM Date reported AUM Reference
Blackstone $1.1T Mar-2024 Blackstone AUM
Brookfield $929B Mar-2024 Brookfield AUM
Hamilton Lane $903B Dec-2023 Hamilton AUM
Apollo Global Management $671B Mar-2024 Apollo AUM
KKR $575B Mar-2024 KKR AUM
Ares Management $428B Mar-2024 Ares Management AUM
Carlyle Group  $425B Mar-2024 Carlyle Group AUM
EQT AB Group $242B Mar-2024 EQT AB Group AUM
Bridgewater Associates $197B Mar-2023 Bridgewater Associates AUM
CVC Capital Partners $186B Mar-2024 CVC Capital Partners AUM
Bain Capital $185B Mar-2024 Bain Capital AUM
Ardian  $164B Mar-2024 Ardian AUM
Partners Group  $146B Mar-2024 Partners Group AUM
AQR Capital Management $132B Mar-2024 AQR Capital Management AUM

Note: Currency conversions from EUR to USD are calculated using the rate of the “date reported” from the European Central Bank.

With $1 trillion in assets under management, Blackstone is the largest alternative asset manager in 2024. Blackstone invests on behalf of institutional and individual clients worldwide. It invests through a portfolio of funds and companies in diverse sectors. Hamilton Lane is the second-largest alternative asset manager, and Brookfield rounds up the list of the top 3 largest alternative investment managers.

List of the largest alternative asset managers by AUM in 2024

Blackstone

AUM: $1.1 trillion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

With $1.1 trillion in assets under management, Blackstone is the world’s largest alternative asset manager. Blackstone’s portfolio consists of more than 230 portfolio companies and 12,600 real estate assets. Its asset portfolio spans a diverse range of sectors. Blackstone serves both institutional and individual investors around the world. It targets asset classes such as private equity, credit, insurance and infrastructure.

Brookfield

AUM: $929 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Brookfield is a Canadian global alternative asset manager founded in 1899. The firm has $929 billion in assets under management as of March 31. Brookfield invests in private equity, credit, real estate, insurance and infrastructure markets. It’s a major investor in renewable energy projects.

Brookfield strives to invest in assets and businesses that are the backbone of the global economy. It has investments in more than two dozen countries across five continents. Brookfield invests in alternative investment products on behalf of a diverse range of clients, including sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors and private investors.

The firm likes to invest in businesses with high barriers to entry. With its global reach, massive capital and decades of experience, Brookfield can invest where many competitors cannot.  The firm seeks to generate attractive, long-term returns for its investors.

Hamilton Lane

AUM: $903 billion

Reporting date: December 30, 2024

With $903 billion assets under management as of June 30, Hamilton Lane is one the leading alternative investment firms in the world. The firm serves institutional investors and private wealth clients, offering them access to a broad mix of investment products.

Founded in 1991, Hamilton primarily invests in private markets. It mainly targets direct equity, direct credit, and secondary markets. The firm allocates at least 35% of its assets to direct equity and direct credit each. Hamilton has a global investment footprint; 60% of its assets are invested in North America.

Apollo Global Management

AUM: $671 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Apollo describes itself as a high-growth alternative asset manager. It oversaw the management of $671 billion worth of assets as of March 31, 2024. Apollo seeks to provide its investors with excess return at every point in its multi-pronged investment approach.

As an asset manager with a large portfolio, Apollo performs the double role of generating returns to investors and providing capital to businesses. Apollo’s investments cover credit, equity and real estate assets. A significant focus of the firm is on fixed-income and private investment grade markets.

KKR

AUM: $575 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

KKR is a global investment firm with $575 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2024. The firm takes a disciplined investment approach and seeks to generate attractive returns for its investors. The firm invests on behalf of institutional and individual clients. It invests in credit, private equity and real assets through sponsored funds and portfolio companies.

KKR has been in the investing business since 1976. It initially focused on U.S. investments but has since broadened its investment scope and geographic footprint.

Ares Management

AUM: $428 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Ares Management is a global alternative asset manager with $428 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2024. The firm invests on behalf of individual and institutional investors in private equity, credit, real estate and infrastructure markets around the globe.

Ares Management has been in the investment business since 1997. It seeks to generate consistent returns in all market conditions.

As part of its investment strategy, Ares Management supports businesses across sectors by providing flexible capital solutions. The firm invests in both primary and secondary markets.

Carlyle Group

AUM: $428 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Carlyle is a leading private equity and alternative asset manager. Founded in 1987, the firm manages assets across three business segments and through 600 investment vehicles. That makes it one of the world’s most diversified investment managers.

Carlyle seeks to invest wisely and deliver long-term value for its investors. The firm invests on behalf of individual and institutional investors across four continents. The firm’s assets under management stood at $428 billion as of March 31, 2024. Carlyle invests in equity, credit and a range of other non-traditional investment products. Private equity and credit markets account for over 80% of Carlyle’s AUM.

The firm’s industry expertise, diverse teams and global reach help it maintain a competitive advantage, allowing it to deliver great returns for investors.

EQT AB Group

AUM: $242 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

EQT Group is a Swedish global investment firm and one of the world’s leading alternative asset managers. It has more than $242 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2024. Founded in 1994, EQT operates multiple funds through which it invests in private equity, infrastructure and real estate assets worldwide. It also makes venture capital investments in promising businesses in diverse sectors.

The firm is focused on delivering attractive and consistent returns for its investors. Shares of EQT are listed on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock market under the “EQT” ticker symbol.

Bridgewater Associates

AUM: $197 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2023

Bridgewater Associates is the world’s largest hedge fund and one of the leading alternative asset managers. It has $197 billion in assets under management as of March 31. In 2021, Bridgewater won the best alternative investments management firm award from the Institutional Asset Manager.

Founded in 1975, Bridgewater invests on behalf of a broad array of clients, including pension funds, governments, charity foundations and family offices. It invests in diverse assets to generate attractive returns for its investors.

CVC Capital Partners

AUM: $186 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

CVC Capital Partners is a global alternative investment manager. Founded in 1981, the firm is based in Luxembourg but invests globally, mainly in America, European and Asian markets. CVC Capital’s assets under management stood at over $194 billion as of March 31, 2024.

The firm invests through a portfolio of funds in private equity, credit and secondary markets. CVC Capital funds have invested in more than 120 companies in diverse sectors. Sustainability is a central component of the firm’s investment strategy.

Bain Capital

AUM: $185 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Bain Capital is a global alternative investment firm. Founded in 1984 and based in Boston, Bain Capital has footprints across four continents and serves diverse investors. The firm’s investments are mainly focused on private equity, public equity, credit, venture capital and real estate markets. It has about $185 billion in assets under management as ofMarch 31, 2024.

Bain Capital’s venture arm has invested in many crypto startups and projects around the world. Its crypto portfolio includes DeFi protocols Aera and Flood and blockchain games developers Curio and Osmosis.

Ardian

AUM: $164 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Ardian is a French multinational investment firm with $164 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2024. It invests on behalf of pension plans, sovereign funds, financial institutions, insurance companies, family offices and other clients.

Ardian invests in primary and secondary markets, offering clients access to a diverse range of traditional and alternative investment products. It invests across private equity, credit, real estate and infrastructure.

Ardian firm seeks to deliver excellent returns and make finance a force for good. The firm aims to invest in a manner that builds sustainable, long-term value and aligns with its social responsibilities.

Partners Group

AUM: $146 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

Partners Group is a Swiss-based investment firm that specialises in alternative investments. The firm has $146 billion in assets under management and has invested $200 billion since its inception in 1996.

The firm invests on behalf of various investor groups. Its investing clients include sovereign wealth funds, family offices, institutional investors and private investors.

Partners Group’s specialty is private markets. It invests in private equity, private debt, private real estate and private infrastructure. The firm invests across diverse sectors and seeks to generate strong, sustainable returns for its investors.

When it comes to investing strategy, Partners Group seeks out attractive businesses and assets and transforms them into market leaders. When Partners Group invests in a business or asset, it usually seeks a holding period of 5 – 8 years.

AQR Capital Management

AUM: $132 billion

Reporting date: March 31, 2024

AQR Capital is a global investment management firm founded in 1998. While the firm invests in traditional and alternative investment products around the globe, it’s best known for its alternative investment strategy. It has $132 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2024. AQR Capital applies a quantitative investing approach, and portfolio diversity is a cornerstone of its investing strategy. The firm invests through multiple funds, primarily serving institutional investors and financial advisors.

What are assets under management (AUM)?

Assets under management (AUM) refers to the total market value of the assets that a firm oversees on behalf of its investing clients. The AUM can fluctuate under various conditions. For example, the AUM would go up if the market value of a firm’s investments appreciates. The AUM would also increase if more investors join an investment firm or bring more money to the firm. On the other hand, an investment firm’s AUM would decline if investors leave it. Asset managers usually update their AUM in regulatory filings each quarter.

For prospective investors and others interested in studying asset managers, the AUM metric is a measure of how big a firm is. Investment managers may have different categories of assets. The AUM designation usually applies to funds or assets that managers can invest in line with their strategies without seeking special permissions from investors.

Who are the largest alternative asset managers in the world?

The world’s largest alternative asset manager by assets under management is Blackstone, followed by Hamilton Lane and  Brookfield.

Conclusion

The AUM metric is important to consider when evaluating asset managers for potential investments. Studying the largest alternative asset managers by AUM can show you the managers that investors most trust with their money.

While the largest alternative investment managers by assets under management may not necessarily be the best, they may be more stable and secure to invest in the long-term. As a result, knowing the largest asset managers can be an important step in choosing the right investment manager. 

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Neha Gupta, CFA
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Neha is a seasoned finance professional with over 17 years of work experience in the investing field.

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