Assets Under Management (AUM)

Assets Under Management (AUM)


Assets Under Management (AUM)

In finance, "Assets Under Management" (AUM) stands as a crucial metric, providing a snapshot of the financial assets controlled by an individual or institution on behalf of clients. This term, also known as "fund under management," encompasses the total market value of investments, be it in traditional financial instruments or emerging sectors like decentralized finance (DeFi).

What Are Assets Under Management (AUM)?

At its core, AUM encapsulates the total market value of financial assets managed by entities such as mutual funds, venture capital firms, or decentralized network protocols. It serves as a metric for evaluating the size and success of investment management entities, providing insights into the scope and scale of their operations.

How to Calculate AUM?

The calculation of AUM varies between entities. Some include bank deposits, mutual funds, and cash, while others focus solely on funds under discretionary management from individual investors. This diversity reflects the nuanced nature of financial management strategies employed across the industry.

AUM Metrics and Comparisons

AUM isn't just a static figure; it fluctuates based on the influx and outflux of funds, reflecting market dynamics and the performance of underlying assets. Investment companies often leverage AUM as a marketing tool, showcasing their scale to attract new investors. Comparisons with historical data and competitors offer insights into growth, with increasing AUM signaling positive performance.

However, it's crucial to note that investment strategies may have capacity constraints. A strategy's performance can suffer if AUM exceeds its capacity. This nuance challenges the notion that higher AUM always equates to success. 

For instance, although a large S&P 500 ETF manages hundreds of billions of dollars, smaller funds with a few million dollars under management often outperform their larger counterparts, highlighting the significance of strategy over sheer volume.

Fees and AUM

AUM plays a pivotal role in fee structures. Investment management companies often charge fees as a percentage of AUM, making it a key factor in determining top-line revenue. Fee rates may vary, and financial professionals often attract high-wealth investors as AUM increases. This symbiotic relationship between AUM and fees underscores its significance in the financial ecosystem.


In conclusion, AUM serves as a cornerstone in evaluating financial entities, providing a lens into their management prowess and market influence. Whether in traditional investment vehicles or DeFi protocols, AUM's adaptability underscores its enduring relevance in the ever-evolving world of finance.