Alternative investments remain a key component of investors’ portfolios, says global LP survey

Meghan McAlpine, Intralinks

Intralinks, in partnership with Global Fund Media, has conducted a global survey of Limited Partners (LPs) to examine how investors view the General Partners (GPs) they currently allocate to.

The survey provides statistics and trend analysis on a number of themes including how alternative investment remains a key component of investors’ portfolios, the rise of direct investing and co-investment interest, the importance of the level of transparency LPs receive from their fund managers, regulatory pressures facing the market today, and the impact GDPR will have not only on European fund managers, but on any global fund manager with European investors.
 
Alternatives remain a key component of investors’ portfolios. More than one third (35 per cent) of LPs confirmed that their current allocation to alternative investments was more than 30 per cent, with one in five committing up to 10 per cent to alternatives. Two thirds of LPs surveyed that were looking to increase their investment said that they plan on increasing their allocations to alternatives by between one per cent and 10 per cent in 2017 as the pressure that institutions face today to meet their investment targets shows no signs of easing.
 
“It’s definitely a high number,” says Meghan McAlpine (pictured), Director of Strategy & Product Marketing at Intralinks. “In terms of how much money they are willing to allocate and the returns they are looking for, alternatives are still an important asset class in many respects, but nevertheless the figure was still higher than expected.”
 
Not everyone, however, has grand designs on increasing their exposure to alternatives. The Intralinks survey revealed various reasons among LPs for remaining cautious. These ranged from expectations of higher returns in public markets to fears that alternatives were getting too expensive. There were other opportunities with a lower risk than alternatives, and LPs were either comfortable with their current level of exposure or constrained by investment committees to increase it further.
 
“Also, I think some LPs have concerns over whether GPs can actually put capital to work,” suggests McAlpine. “The amount of dry powder in private equity is very high – around USD845 billion. Will deal volumes remain high? As a result, there are more LPs now looking at direct investing and co-investment opportunities to effectively deploy their capital.”
 
When asked which three sectors they were keen for GPs to invest in, investors cited Technology (50.4 per cent), Healthcare (48.9 per cent) and Infrastructure (44.4 per cent) as the most attractive.
 
In addition to these discoveries, the LP survey also revealed that one of the ongoing issues and sources of frustration among LPs is the level of transparency they receive. The survey findings underscore this, with more than half of respondents (54 per cent) confirming that they were only “somewhat satisfied” with the level of transparency they receive from fund managers. Among all the other findings, the survey concludes that how GPs are communicating with their LPs is of high importance.
 
“Having good communication lines is even more important than blindly giving investors a range of different templates. How GPs are engaging with their end investors is really the key point and why we conducted this survey in the first place,” McAlpine concludes.

Click here to read the Intralinks 2017 LP Survey Report