Beverly Chandler, Opalesque London: Boston based Cerulli Associates finds that the demand for liquid, tax-friendly, transparent alternative investment vehicles is driving product development with more than one thousand open-end mutual funds, closed-end funds, ETFs, and ETNs being created to fill the need for easily accessible alternative investment strategies.
The firm reports that although they account for only a small slice of assets in the retail arena, alternative investments have a highly visible profile. Cerulli Associates says: "In fact, 70% of retail asset managers surveyed by Cerulli Associates consider alternative products to be as important as or more important than other initiatives-and a great deal of product development, planning, and educational support is oriented around alternative products".
"To meet the demand for alternative investments packaged for retail investors, asset managers have more than doubled the number of strategies across open-end mutual funds, closed-end funds, ETFs, and ETNs (from 430 products in 2007 to 1,019 by 2011)," according to Cindy Zarker, director at Cerulli Associates. "Each one of these vehicles offers unique strengths and considerations, and some are better suited to certain investment strategies, investor segments, and account types."
Liquidity often tops the list of requirements to make alternatives mas......................
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