Most asset managers employ one or more alternative investment product managers, according to new research.

Cerulli Associates, Boston, published this finding in a summary of results from an annual report that focuses on exchange-traded funds and alternative products and strategies distributed through the retail, third-party intermediary channel. The research examines the size of each market, trends in product development, advisor usage and demand, and marketing and distribution.

Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) asset managers employ one or more alternative investment product managers, Cerulli finds. Another 46% have one or more alternative investment marketing professionals.

The report also finds that 42% of asset managers employ at least one or more alternatives-focused sales personnel.

Cerulli’s research further notes that asset managers do not employ the same marketing and distribution tactics for traditional and alternative products.

Two-thirds (67%) of asset managers produce more white papers for alternative products than for traditional products. More than half (58%) run more portfolio manager conference calls for alternatives compared to traditional funds.

The narrow use of alternatives among advisors, Cerulli says, underscores the significant investment in training and education required to meaningfully boost alternative assets.

“More than half of advisors have used absolute return/market-neutral, commodities or long-short strategies as a portfolio

Diversifier,” says Alec Papazian, a senior analyst and co-author of Cerulli’s report. “By contrast, more than half of advisors have not used funds or limited partnerships that invest in currency, global infrastructure and inverse or leveraged strategies.”