BERKELEY, Calif. (HedgeWorld.com)–Chief investment officers are predicting strong growth for their hedge fund assets, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Barra Inc., a risk consulting and technology firm.

CIOs responding to a survey question said they expect their own hedge fund assets to grow an average of 32%, by far the largest estimate for growth. “Alternatives are clearly an area of focus,” said Sara Somerville, product marketing manager for Barra.

Private equity and structured fixed income were estimated to grow second fastest with an average estimated growth of 21%. The survey responses indicated that the forecast still is good for traditional asset classes, with CIOs estimating growth in the range of 12% to 17%.

The survey also indicated that risk management continues to be of major importance to CIOs, with 97% agreeing that risk management is more or as important to their firm as it was a year earlier.

The survey of 62 CIOs was conducted by Greenwich Associates, Greenwich, Conn. Only nine CIOs responded to the hedge fund growth question.

The CIO’s money management firms had average assets under management of US$19 billion for firms in the United States and US$15 billion for firms in Europe.

PBarr@HedgeWorld.com