A rising stock market and talk of merger and acquisition activity are driving up the share prices of many publicly traded mutual fund companies. According to a report from The Financial Times, it hasn't been terribly tough for managers to beat the S&P 500 this year, which is up 8%. As a result, firms are making a strong showing on Wall Street.

But the gains are also due to talk of industry consolidation. For instance, shares of Legg Mason, which took over Citibank's asset management division last year, are up 76%. Janus Capital's stock, which in recent months has demonstrated robust signs of recovery from the mutual fund scandal, has risen by 50%. Affiliated Managers Group, which invests in asset managers, has risen by 40%.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.