Despite a changing market for asset consultants, the current oligopoly have managed to maintain a firm hold on the market, with market share remaining at 77%, according to research from Rainmaker Information.
JANA (31.8%), Frontier (26.8%) and Willis Towers Watson (18.8%) have totalled very similar market shares since 2016, after a sharp drop in 2015 from 90%.
The new phenomenon in this market is the use of multiple asset consultants, which now makes up a 22% share of all asset consultant usage.
"Super funds are getting larger and needing to develop their own investment expertise, which has caused many of them to review how they use their investment advisers and asset consultants," said Alex Dunnin, executive director of research at Rainmaker Information.
Australian asset consultants are currently competing for a changing pool of funds, with the $2.2 trillion institutional market seeing more funds being internally managed by superannuation funds.
Not-for-profit super funds now internally manage more than $230 billion which is almost one-fifth of their funds under management.
As Australia's super funds are running their own investments, they are running more investment assets than all but the biggest funds managers.
"This is profoundly disrupting life for Australia's investment managers. Their super fund clients are fast becoming their biggest competitors," said Dunnin.
"As more superannuation funds grow in size and scale, they'll likely want to bring even more of their investment capabilities in-house," he added.
"It's not a coincidence that some of the funds managing the most money internally also happen to be some of the largest funds in Australia."
"With the recent budget announcements heralding further consolidation among superannuation funds, this trend is likely to continue. It will present further challenges for asset consultants and force them to develop new business models and enter new markets."
UniSuper, AustralianSuper, QSuper, Aware Super and Southern State Superannuation Scheme are the biggest super funds that internally managed investments in Australia, according to Rainmaker's research.
UniSuper manages about 70% of its $83 billion internally. QSuper, AustralianSuper, Rest Super and Aware Super manage about 30% each.
Australian equities accounts for the largest share of superannuation assets being internally managed, followed by cash, international equities and Australian bonds.