This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Asset Diversification Among Institutional Investors Accelerates, According To Towers Watson Data

Stocks in this article: TW

Institutional investors continue to diversify their investment portfolios into alternative assets, increasingly via direct funds rather than funds of funds, according to global data from global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). The data show that, in 2012, its clients — which include pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and insurance companies — allocated 70% more assets to hedge fund and private market strategies than in 2010, reaching $12 billion for the year.

Zainul Ali, head of manager research, Americas, at Towers Watson, said, “Throughout the past five years, the alternative fund managers that we have placed in client portfolios have shown their ability to adapt to the changing environment to generate good net-of-fees performances. Larger institutional funds are likely to continue to invest in funds directly for most alternative asset classes, rather than via funds of funds, as investors continue to focus on better fee structures and greater transparency.”

In 2012, the number of hedge fund mandates awarded to direct funds continued to increase, especially in the macroeconomic, fixed income and reinsurance areas. Similarly, in private markets, real estate, private equity and infrastructure, direct funds received the vast majority of assets. During the year, there was particular interest in infrastructure globally, with three times more assets being awarded to investment managers by Towers Watson’s clients than in 2011.

The data also show that Smart Beta strategies, which capture a premium over time or improve portfolio efficiency through diversification, continued to attract a significant amount of assets ($5 billion) in 2012. These new Smart Beta mandates were mainly allocated in the bonds, commodities and equities, and to a lesser extent in reinsurance, hedge fund and infrastructure. Towers Watson’s institutional investment clients have now allocated over $20 billion to Smart Beta strategies to date.

“These Smart Beta strategies range from relatively simple ideas — such as real estate securities and specialist infrastructure strategies to create liquid diversity — to doing existing betas better, such as non-market cap-weighted equities. They also include more specialist solutions with niche asset managers, such as reinsurance, currency carry and volatility premiums. Smart Beta solutions have particularly wide applications for most of our clients — regardless of whether they are large or small, or currently investing actively or passively — and our proprietary knowledge and industry relationships have allowed us to help investment managers design much better net-of-fees products for them,” said Ali.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs