Operating margins of publicly traded asset managers ticked down to 30.5% in the first quarter of 2011, down from 31.4% in the previous quarter, Kasina said. Net margins decreased from 23.4% to 22.1%.

“Firm profits are slightly off a three-year high reached in the fourth quarter of 2010,” said Steven Miyao, chief executive officer and founding principal of Kasina. “However, this is consistent with what we saw in the first quarter of 2010, as well, where assets grew but margins did not keep page. This year, firm operating margins are down from their fourth quarter peaks despite overall asset growth of 3%.”

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