Australia’s Macquarie Group has maintained its position as the largest institutional alternatives manager in the world, according to the latest Towers Watson survey, as pension fund investors have adopted a steady-as-she-goes approach to asset allocation in the alternatives space.
The survey results, compiled in association with the Financial Times in London, show that funds under management by the top 100 alternatives managers, sourced from pension funds, was broadly unchanged at the end of 2009 – US$817 billion. This represents about half their total assets under management in alternatives.
There were nine Australian managers in the top 100, from a total alternatives universe of 224 firms. They were, in order of assets sourced from pension funds:
ranking Manager Pension Assets US$m Total assets US$ Asset class
1 Macquarie 51,632 92,671 infrastructure
38 QIC 6,269 7,294 real estate
39 AMP Capital 6,248 14,909 real estate
43 IFM 5,796 5,796 infrastructure
54 Dexus Property 4,152 11,580 real estate
55 Macquarie 4,128 10,247 real estate
57 Lend Lease 4,023 6,797 real estate
77 IFM 2,658 2,658 PE FoF
85 Charter Hall 2,320 2,730 real estate
88 Hastings/UTA 2,256 2,318 infrastructure
94 GPT 2,025 4,455 real estate
Ross Barry, head of the Towers Watson portfolio construction group in Australia, said the survey results showed the long-term trend away from equity-based portfolios continued, although the overall allocation to alternatives continued to rise, now accounting for an average of 17 per cent internationally, against 6 per cent 10 years ago.
He said institutional investors were being far more selective, with a greater focus on achieving genuine diversity and more cost-effective structures.
“Infrastructure managers have increased their pension fund assets under management during the past year, as new investors have become more comfortable with these asset classes and others have continued to opportunistically add to their allocations,” he said.