The harsh financial climate made for a difficult year among L.A. County's money managers. Aggregate assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2002 at the 25 largest firms just topped $1 trillion, a 2.7 percent decline over the year earlier.

The five largest firms accounted for close to three-quarters of the total asset value and more than 90 percent of asset decrease.

No. 25 Roger Engemann & Associates Inc. experienced a sharp decline, with assets under management at $4 billion, nearly half last year's figure. Focused on growth stock investing, especially in large-cap equities, the firm's assets peaked in 1999 at $17.5 billion. The bear market, along with people pulling money out of the stock market, have hit Engemann hard, said Gretchen Lash, its chief executive and chief investment officer.

Due to charter consolidation, U.S. Trust Co. advanced nine spots to No. 4. despite a $12 billion decline in assets to $81 billion.

It wasn't all bad news. Eleven firms reported increased assets under management in 2002. No. 3 Western Asset Management added $17.9 billion.

Nicole Taylor


Capital Research & Management Co.

Though it repeated as the largest money management firm in L.A. County, ranked by assets under management, Capital Research & Management Co. was not immune to the poor investment climate.

It reported a $9 billion decline in funds under management, a 2.5 percent decrease. Still, with $358.1 billion in assets under management as of Dec. 31, 2002, Capital Research is more than three times larger than No. 2 Capital Guardian Trust Co.

Founded in 1931 by Jonathan Bell Lovelace, Capital Research was the first of the five Capital Group Companies. It has 5,000 employees in four national service centers and nine investment offices worldwide. Its downtown Los Angeles location houses 28 portfolio managers and 30 researchers, with an estimated 600 employees in L.A. County.

The firm is an investment adviser to 29 open-end mutual funds in the American Funds Group, as well as a provider of investment services to thousands of corporations, banks, trust companies and retirement plans.

American Funds, which accounts for the majority of Capital Research's assets, is the third largest mutual fund family in the United States, behind Vanguard Group and Fidelity. It manages 6.2 percent of all assets in the U.S. mutual fund market, according to Financial Research Corp.

The firm sells its products exclusively through brokers.

Nicole Taylor

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