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Nearly half of asset managers expect to hire alternative investment personnel

Thursday, November 07, 2013
Opalesque Industry Update - New research from Cerulli Associates, a Boston-based global analytics firm finds that 47% of asset managers expect to hire dedicated marketing personnel and 41% expect to hire dedicated sales personnel in the next 12 months to support alternative investments.

"We've seen an increase in asset managers capitalizing on investor interest in alternatives by broadening their product lines," explains Pamela DeBolt, senior analyst at Cerulli. "To be successful, managers must deepen their staff of dedicated professionals to support these efforts."

The November 2013 issue of The Cerulli Edge-U.S. Asset Management Edition examines product management teams, alternative investment staffing needs, and asset managers' use of resources to target third party intermediaries.

"Alternative products can be complex and hard to understand for both advisors and end clients," DeBolt continues. "Firms will be most successful when marketing and sales efforts include a significant educational component."

According to Cerulli, firms have hired more dedicated sales professionals than any other alternatives-related position in the past year. The number of sales personnel dedicated to alternative products increased 54% from 2012 to 2013 among managers that distributed alternatives to both retail and institutional clients.

"Looking ahead, we are seeing the hiring shift slightly from sales toward increasing marketing staff," DeBolt states. "Larger firms tend to create more collateral and educational tools, and appropriate levels of staff are required to maintain and update these tools."

As alternatives are becoming an increased focus and a larger business line for some firms, Cerulli recommends continued evaluation of support levels to ensure that the appropriate resources are committed to alternative product lines on an ongoing basis.

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