The survey found that there has been a 7.9 per cent rise in the total pension fund assets under management by the top 100 asset managers. The total sum is now $1.03 trillion, up from $951.7 billion in 2010.
The rise is partly due to the fact that the survey now includes figures from insurers, foundations, endowments and sovereign wealth funds. Much of the assets under management are being invested in alternatives such as hedge funds and private equity, according to Towers Watson.
A spokesman for Towers Watson, Craig Baker, said, "Our client base is quite different today from when we started this survey. We do a lot of work with insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds and endowments."
AAA's analysis partner, Anthony Johnson said that these latest figures show that institutional investors are increasingly looking towards alternatives to diversify their portfolios and offset the impact of inflation. He stated, "We are seeing an increase in interest in alternatives with individuals and institutional investors realizing in their droves that alternatives can offer a wise option."
AAA claims that individual investors are now "spoiled for choice" when it comes to interesting alternatives asset classes that can offer a hedge against inflation and a less risky investment than the equity markets. "Timberland is one of the best-performing alternatives,"
"Investing directly in timberland through the kind of schemes run by Greenwood Management in Brazil, for example, ensures people get something tangible in exchange for their investment."
"Not only this, but timberland returns on investment have typically outperformed equities over a number of years and can offer a good long-term investment option for people looking for a pension investment."
About Alternative Asset Analysis:
The remit of Alternative Asset Analysis is to analyse and provide news on the global performance of a wide range of alternative asset classes including, but not restricted to, commodities, real estate, forestry, foreign exchange, hedge funds, private equity and venture capital.
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