While global asset managers have rushed to build footholds in Japan, a new report suggests that with a $5 trillion pool of retail and retirement fund assets, Europe should be considered the most promising fund management marketplace outside the United States. The report, "Global Asset Gathering Strategies, Volume II: Country Profiles," was written by Cerulli Associates of Boston.

Much of the recent rise in European managed assets has been fueled by the explosive growth in the Italian and Spanish mutual fund marketplaces and the expansion of the British pension fund industry, the report said. Also, with low interest rates reducing bond returns, equities and equity funds have become more attractive to European investors who have traditionally preferred fixed-income investments. In fact, Cerulli Associates estimates that retail and retirement fund assets in Europe will exceed $7 trillion by 2002.

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