The shift will also lead to the emergence of new leaders in the global asset-management business. Enskat cites investment boutique Carmignac Gestion, run by French investment banker and fund manger Edouard Carmignac. After many years of managing assets of less than $1 billion, Carmignac in 2009 alone gathered $23 billion in net cash flows, overwhelmingly to its three flagship funds, he says.

London-based Schroders PLC and New York-based BlackRock Inc. (BLK) are two firms that appear to understand the intricacies and peculiarities of Asian markets and to be well-positioned for growth there, Enskat says.

Some U.S. asset managers have already made missteps. Some pulled representatives who worked with international product distributors, such as big banks, out of various countries during the downturn to focus on their home markets, Enskat says, adding that those firms have been essentially blacklisted by professional fund buyers who lost experienced contacts when it counted most.


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