Global consulting firm Watson Wyatt highlights a generally optimistic outlook for 2009 from fund managers.

Watson Wyatt’s recent survey of fund managers, who collectively have assets under management of more than US$10 trillion, indicates that the period of recovery in most markets will be protracted; the influence of hedge funds and investment banks will decline significantly while that of pension and sovereign funds will rise; and there will be continued growth in demand for alpha from investors.

Furthermore, fund managers expect to see their institutional clients opting for more conservative investment strategies as well as prioritizing greater risk control as the main area for improvement in their governance. In addition they pointed to, as their top concerns during the next 10 to 20 years, inadequate retirement incomes from DC for large segments of the population and greater regulation increasing costs for everyone.

According to the survey, managers hold overall bullish views of returns on public equities, investment grade bonds, high yield bonds and emerging markets over the next 5 years. However, for the same time horizon, they hold fairly bearish views of returns on hedge funds, government bonds, money market and real estate, while remaining largely neutral on private equities and currencies.

For more information, visit www.watsonwyatt.com.