Fee pressure concerns, heightened distribution costs and a market heading toward passive products are contributing to a growing sentiment in the asset management industry that survival, not growth, is the reason to now consider a merger or an acquisition.

Take the years' most notable merger to date, a $6 billion takeover of Janus Capital by London-based Henderson, or the announced sale of Unicredit's Pioneer Investments - described by numerous observers as bell-weathers for further industry consolidation.

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