Returns may have been good, but revenue growth overall was weak among asset management firms in 2012.

Median revenue growth among 37 firms analyzed increased 4.4% in 2012, according to a recent analysis from Casey, Quirk & Associates. The 2012 median barely beat the 4.21% increase for the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index last year and lagged behind the double-digit gains posted by indexes tracking U.S. and international stocks. Meanwhile, revenue growth gained 8% and beat annual gains posted by major stock and bond benchmarks in 2011, and jumped 22% 2010.

Regarding faltering revenue growth, Casey Quirk pointed to its forecast in a recent whitepaper that investment managers worldwide will grow less than 1% from net new money annually through 2017, compared with 6% to 7% before the financial crisis.

But the 25 U.S. firms surveyed continue to outperform asset management subsidiaries of larger financial conglomerates in profitability. U.S. firms posted a median profit margin of 33% in 2012, compared with 25% for 12 subsidiaries of larger financial institutions.

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