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Invesco(IVZ - Get Report) is another name that's had an impressive run in 2012. Already this year, shares of the investment manager have rallied more than 20%, largely on the heels of an equity rally that's sent assets flowing into Invesco's funds. Today, the firm boasts more than $673 billion in assets under management, spread across a number of brands.
Invesco's client base is skewed towards retail investors. While that means that its assets under management are more fickle than institutional money would be, it also means that the firm generates higher management fees than it would if it primarily managed other firms' cash. Fund performance has been steadily improving and outpacing benchmarks -- that factor should help IVZ attract more client money more quickly in the next bull market move.
Even though most of IVZ's AUM is in equities, the firm has a material fixed-income business; that expertise in both "conventional" asset classes should help avoid customer flight on the next downturn. Instead, the firm can move risk-averse clients to bond funds.
Invesco's successes are translating into dividends for shareholders. Recently, the firm announced a 40.8% dividend increase, making IVZ the biggest increaser on our list. The move hikes IVZ's yield to 2.83%.
Invesco is a nice core holding for income investors looking for low-risk financial sector exposure.
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-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.