Bailey McCann, Opalesque, New York: US endowments are stepping up their investments in private equity according to a new report from global research firm Preqin. Of the endowments included in the report, 94% plan to increase or maintain their investments in private equity over the longer term. Over half of that group intends to make these investments before the year is out.
According to the report, North American endowments have increased their average allocation to private equity on a year-on-year basis from 8.4% of assets under management in 2007 to 13.2% in 2012. On average such institutions are now slightly over their average target allocation (12.5%) but very few are turning to the secondary market to sell fund interests. Most of that money is staying inside North America, respondents cited the region as the most desirable for private equity investments.
Despite the interest in private equity investments, many endowments are reporting difficulty accessing top-tier managers. 27% of those included in the report said that it was challenging to find best of breed funds to invest in. Currently, endowments represent 19% of all limited partnerships in North America and those allocations are often relatively higher than other investor types. 24% of endowments in the report said they were currently below their target allocations for private equity.