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CNBC ranks the top 50 money-management firms of 2015

It's a simple fact: People are continuously looking for the right opportunities to invest and make money. That's why investors' trust in the money-management industry is so key. Those trusted firms will always rise to the top.

To that point, 35 percent of investors surveyed cited "trusted to act in my best interest" as the most important attribute in hiring an investment/money manager, according to a recent study from the CFA Institute. The CFA survey also found that 73 percent of investors say they are optimistic about their fair opportunity for profit or loss in capital markets.

Money manager
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Industry experts are bullish and conclude that there are a variety of investment opportunities for individual investors to create low-cost portfolios that are diversified across geographic markets and many asset classes. It's a period of consistent growth and opportunity for investors and for money managers, industry experts say.

Read MoreMoney managers take center stage

And that trusted relationship is key, the CFA study concluded.

The study found that investors believe having a trusting relationship with a money manager is twice as important as getting the best possible financial result and five times as important as getting the lowest fee.

The study also concluded that in order to maintain and build the ethical standing and purpose of the financial services industry and capital markets, every participant in the investment industry must focus on enhancing trust.

The CNBC digital editorial team, along with Meridian-IQ, used the following methodology to come up with its Top 50 Money Managers list: total assets under management, average account size, total number of accounts and the firm's 2014 assets under management.

Click here for full financial and contact details for the top 50 money-management firms for 2015.

Rank
Primary Business Name
Total AUM $(bil)
Avg Account Size $(mil)
Total Accounts
Historical AUM 2014 $(bil)
1 Vanguard Group Inc. $3,006.42 $12,122.66 248 $2,349.13
2 Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC $1,680.39 $688.12 2,442 $1,950.51
3 Capital Research and Management Co. $1,366.31 $12,420.98 110 $1,366.31
4 J.P. Morgan Asset Management $1,149.34 $31.38 36,623 $1,053.26
5 FMR Co. Inc. $918.63 $3,280.81 280 $866.59
6 Wellington Management Co. LLP $892.08 $640.40 1,393 $826.19
7 BlackRock Fund Advisors $863.38 $2,230.96 387 $814.15
8 T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. $742.73 $537.04 1,383 $689.29
9 Northern Trust Investments Inc. $689.81 $20.04 34,424 $638.42
10 Goldman Sachs Asset Management LP $689.16 $15.64 44,051 $614.19
11 Fidelity Investments Money Management Inc. $606.37 $4,458.61 136 $603.08
12 Prudential Investment Management Inc. $564.45 $808.66 698 $505.56
13 Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. $560.74 $0.35 1,589,138 $485.51
14 BlackRock International Ltd. $545.80 $375.12 1,455 $551.97
15 Morgan Stanley $528.24 $0.35 1,523,145 $460.69
16 Blackrock Advisors LLC $523.61 $1,526.56 343 $454.14
17 Franklin Advisers Inc. $516.69 $869.84 594 $516.69
18 AllianceBernstein LP $477.47 $13.15 36,318 $430.68
19 Invesco Advisers Inc. $430.50 $21.17 20,331 $422.27
20 Strategic Advisers Inc. $427.63 $0.77 554,156 $388.66
21 Dimensional Fund Advisors LP $418.41 $1,070.11 391 $347.18
22 M&G Investment Management Ltd. $389.39 $4,056.11 96 $400.02
23 SSGA Funds Management Inc. $377.82 $1,447.58 261 $335.30
24 Wells Fargo Advisors LLC $375.93 $0.29 1,306,969 $334.76
25 UBS Financial Services Inc. $372.07 $0.45 828,269 $272.28
26 Western Asset Management Co. $371.11 $539.40 688 $379.35
27 Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. $353.41 $254.80 1,387 $305.98
28 Columbia Management Investment Advisers LLC $345.25 $98.87 3,492 $336.62
29 Wells Capital Management Inc. $335.70 $221.44 1,516 $340.14
30 State Street Global Advisors Ltd. $334.41 $211.79 1,579 $327.61
31 AIG Asset Management (U.S.) LLC $329.30 $2,863.48 115 $332.00
32 J.P. Morgan Asset Management London $309.55 $504.97 613 $146.41
33 Mellon Capital Management Corp. $296.05 $410.62 721 $270.21
34 The Dreyfus Corp. $293.92 $1,660.57 177 $299.30
35 MFS Investment Management $293.77 $793.97 370 $269.47
36 Prudential Investments LLC $270.19 $1,437.17 188 $260.82
37 Dodge & Cox $269.57 $316.77 851 $224.42
38 Charles Schwab Investment Management Inc. $267.46 $204.79 1,306 $248.49
39 Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. $257.36 $638.61 403 $234.59
40 Wells Fargo Funds Management LLC $254.51 $40.98 6,211 $252.69
41 Federated Investment Management Co. $244.56 $2,285.59 107 $253.55
42 Legg Mason Partners Fund Advisor LLC $243.40 $1,714.06 142 $244.90
43 TIAA-CREF Investment Management LLC $240.64 $30,079.64 8 $238.38
44 Goldman Sachs Asset Management International $235.16 $320.82 733 $203.16
45 Hamilton Lane $224.55 $1,297.99 173 $187.03
46 Bridgewater Associates LP $219.12 $1,543.08 142 $196.58
47 Loomis, Sayles & Company LP $218.99 $231.00 948 $193.88
48 NYL Investors LLC $214.65 $2,384.99 90 $211.76
49 Deutsche Investment Management Americas Inc. $213.91 $230.76 927 $204.95
50 BlackRock Investment Management LLC $212.74 $8.13 26,151 $211.42

Methodology

The CNBC digital editorial team, along with Meridian-IQ, used the following methodology to compile its Top 50 Money Managers list:

  • Total assets under management.
  • Average account size.
  • Total number of accounts.
  • 2014 assets under management.

—By Jim Pavia, Senior Editor at Large