US - The number of new mandates placed by US institutional investors increased 16% in 2010 with a sharp increase seen in specialist mandates like real assets, commodities and other alternatives.
Tracking data from manager consultant Eager, Davis & Holmes shows investors placed 2,352 mandates with new managers in 2010 worth a total $164bn. In 2009, total mandates were 2,033 worth a combined $120bn.
However, managers are still feeling the effects of the credit crunch as the value of the assets place remains well below 2007 levels of $268bn, the firm said.
There was a surge in placements in some alternative asset classes.
Placements to real assets, commodities and oil and gas combined totalled 110, up a whopping 214% from the previous year. In 2010, the mandates were worth $3.8bn, up from $1bn in 2009.
There were 135 placements to single manager hedge funds in 2010, up over 100% from 65 the year before. Assets placed in 2010 were worth $4.2bn, up from $1.5bn.
Hedge funds of funds received more mandates in 2010 than in 2009, but the value of those mandates was much lower. In 2010, investors placed 100 mandates worth $4.7bn, as compared to 60 mandates in 2009 worth $6bn.
There was also an increase in the number of mandates placed in real estate and emerging market equities in 2010.
"Fund sponsors' implementation of LDI (liability-driven investments), alpha-beta separation and hedging against inflation are evident in some of the mandates that saw increased placements in 2010," observes David Eager, partner at Eager, Davis & Holmes.
"As we have been predicting, there was a continued high demand in a variety of specialty areas. This underscores the need for marketers to focus on consultative selling to meet fund sponsors' changing needs, and not be product pushers," says Eager.
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