Operating margins in the global asset management industry have recovered from their 2009 lows, at a median 32% in 2011, yet they remain below pre-crisis levels, according to new research by U.S. Institute, McLagan and Casey, Quirk & Associates.

The research, which polled 96 money managers worldwide that oversee approximately $21 trillion in assets, also revealed that alternatives and the expansion of professional money management in new markets will provide substantial growth opportunities for the industry. In fact, by 2016, alternatives – including hedge funds and funds of hedge funds, private equity, real estate, and commodities – will represent 40% of total asset industry revenue and 17% of assets under management, according to the research.

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