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eVestment & Casey Quirk 2012 survey: alternatives, emerging markets debt & real estate will be this year's search leaders

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Opalesque Industry Update: Private equity, hedge funds and real estate will drive a combined 20% of all manager search activity in the U.S., and one-fourth of all new or expanded investment mandates this year, according to the 2012 Consultant Search Forecast conducted by eVestment Alliance, a global provider of institutional investment data intelligence and analytic solutions, and Casey, Quirk & Associates, a leading management consulting firm serving the global asset management industry.

Four themes will power investor search activity in 2012, the consultant survey indicates -- generating steady income in a low interest rate environment, globalization, alternatives becoming core positions in portfolios, and the shift to liability-driven investing by corporate pension plans.

This year’s survey polled 30 investment consultants representing $9.7 trillion in assets under advisement.  In 2011, the respondents conducted nearly 5,000 searches and placed a total of $370 billion in mandates

Additional results from the 6th annual survey include:

  • High turnover anticipated for U.S. and international equity mandates and core fixed income, indicating dissatisfaction with incumbents;
  • Increased demand forecast for high yield and long-duration debt, commodities and global stocks;
  • Multi-asset class solutions are expected to represent 10% of new search activity in 2012;
  • Endowments and foundations forecast to increase use of active managers while demand grows for passive investing among pension plans; and
  • Consultants most value asset managers with traditional and alternative capabilities, ability to fully globalize portfolios, a record of product innovation in creating income and non-correlated investments, and competitive long-term incentives to attract and retain talent.

“As hedge funds continue to dominate news headlines, we are not surprised that many of the significant findings from this year’s survey were focused on alternative investments,” said Vice President of New Product Innovation Benjamin Olmstead.  “We conduct this survey each year with Casey Quirk in order to provide a window for investors to get a clear sense of what the top issues on consultants’ minds are for the year ahead. Being able to forecast the trends on the horizon is even more valuable with today’s volatility.”

“This year’s consultant survey indicates asset owners and gatekeepers are making increasing demands from asset managers,’’ said Ben Phillips, partner at Casey Quirk. “Investment managers failing to adapt to the changing investment framework will suffer from slower growth.’’


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