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Global assets under management to double by 2025 as the world’s population ages, study says

  • Global assets under management reached $84.9 trillion in 2016 and will therefore almost double to hit $145.4 trillion in 2025
  • The consultancy group foresees retail funds, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), to almost double by 2025 and growing investments in alternative areas, such as real estate and land, private equity and private debt
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As the world's population starts to live longer, there's one industry set to capitalize on retirement plans.

The asset and wealth management sector is set to reach $145.4 trillion in assets under management by 2025 as governments step back from helping people saving for retirement, a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) showed Monday.

Global assets under management reached $84.9 trillion in 2016 and will therefore almost double to hit $145.4 trillion in 2025, the latest Asset and Wealth Management Revolution report showed. This means the industry will see assets growing at a pace of 6.2 percent a year, with stronger performances in Latin America and Asia-Pacific.

"The burgeoning wealth of high-net worth individuals and the mass affluent, as well as a pronounced shift to defined contribution retirement saving, are propelling huge growth in the asset and wealth management industry," PwC said in a statement Monday.

The consultancy group foresees retail funds, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), to almost double by 2025 and growing investments in alternative areas, such as real estate and land, private equity and private debt.

Asset managers will also be overseeing greater global retirement and pension funds, PwC said.

Despite the optimistic future for wealth managers, PWC suggested they will have to adapt to survive a new landscape.

"Asset managers can take advantage of this massive global growth opportunity if they're innovative. But it's to do or die," Olwyn Alexander, PwC's global asset and wealth management leader, said in a statement. "Things will look very different in five to ten years' time and we expect to see fewer firms managing far more assets significantly more cheaply."

Companies will have to adapt to a more technological world, with artificial intelligence set to affect the research and portfolio management world, while robotic process will impact the back and middle office, PwC said.