The answer, according to Mercer ‘s Asset Allocation Survey is 6-8 ish if you are an institution below 1bn, and 13+ above 1bn.
I’d say that’s consistent with my experience too in that 1bn tends to create a breakpoint where governance resources step up to cater for portfolios with more managers. But even with 6-8 active (plus passive) smaller institutions can certainly get access across pretty much all the asset classes, regions and strategies you’d want – and many might argue that just a single passive manager can do that.
So how many do you really need – that’s often the big question.
Source: Mercer European Asset Allocation Survey 2019