The movement of open-end mutual fund assets into equity holdings in the past decade has been more dramatic than might be expected, according to the Institutional Investment Report, released last month by The Conference Board of New York. The percentage of open-end mutual fund assets invested in equities grew from 23 percent in 1990 to 58.8 percent at the end of 1999, according to the report. While this shift has encompassed all institutional investor assets, accounting for 26.4 percent in 1990 and 50.3 percent at the end of 1999, the open-end mutual fund category grew more substantially than the rest, according to the report.
The report provides a breakdown of total U.S. institutional assets and how the assets are allocated. An institutional investor is defined as any investor with money under professional management, and these assets are split up into five categories: investment companies (primarily mutual funds), pension funds, insurance companies, bank and trust companies, and foundations.