Institutional investors in hedge funds, real estate and private equity are largely satisfied with their investments, and don’t expect to make changes to their allocations despite concerns about recent regulatory changes, according to Preqin, an alternative asset industry information provider.
More than 80% of the 450 investors across alternatives sectors surveyed in the third quarter said they expected to commit the same or more capital to their preferred asset class over the next 12 months compared with the previous 12 months.
These investors manage a combined $11.7 trillion in assets and have more than $750 billion invested in alternatives.
Fund managers can be heartened by this strong investor confidence. Indeed, they can expect significant growth over the coming year as 54% of real estate investors said they were below their target allocation. Also, 45% of private equity and 41% of hedge fund investors were also underallocated.
Hedge Fund Research, which specializes in the indexation and analysis of hedge funds, reported that hedge funds extended their 2013 gains in November. The HFRI Fund Weighted Composite Index was up 1% for the month, its 11th gain in the past 13 months. Year to date, the index was up 8.3%.
Equity hedge funds have been the standout performers on the index this year, up 12.9%, led by funds focused on technology, health care and fundamental value strategies. They are on course for their best calendar year since soaring 24.6% in 2009, HFR said.
Commodity trading advisors, which have performed abysmally over the past two years, continued to struggle in 2013, down 2.5% through September, according to Preqin. Preqin said it had observed a decline in the proportion of hedge fund investors starting new searches for CTAs.
Preqin reported that the U.S. hedge fund industry had recovered faster and more strongly than other regions, and now accounted for 73% of total hedge fund industry assets under management. The U.S. market grew by $150 billion through the third quarter.
In contrast, Europe-based hedge funds added $33 billion in assets through the third quarter.
Much of the U.S. growth could be ascribed to solid performance, a net return of 13.5%, which beat the global hedge fund benchmark of 11.1%, Preqin said. But it also came from some significant investor commitment.
New York and Connecticut are the first and third leading centers for hedge funds globally by total assets under management, with the U.K. the second largest, according to Preqin.
U.S.-based funds of hedge funds represent $508 billion in assets under management, or 65% of the capital managed by funds of hedge funds globally.
Fifty-five percent of all institutional capital invested in hedge funds comes from U.S.-based investors; discounting funds of funds, the largest proportion of this capital is invested by public pension funds.