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Australasian alternative assets investors focus on real estate and real assets

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Investors based in Australia & New Zealand allocate to alternative assets at a lower rate than the global average: 61 per cent of investors based in these countries allocate to at least one alternative asset class, compared to 78 per cent of investors globally.

However, just 40 per cent of investors in Australia & New Zealand allocate to private equity, 16 percentage points below the rate for global investors. Conversely, the proportions of investors based here that allocate to infrastructure and natural resources funds are 16 and 18 percentage points respectively above the global average.
This trend is mirrored in the AUM held by alternative assets fund managers based in the two countries. While the global industry is dominated by hedge funds (USD3.38 trillion) and private equity (USD2.58 trillion), this is not true in Australia & New Zealand. Hedge funds still form the largest part of the market, but real estate funds hold more assets than private equity funds, and infrastructure and natural resources account for significantly higher proportions of fund manager assets than in the global industry.
Australia & New Zealand-based fund managers hold AUD118 billion in assets. Of this, hedge funds account for AUD39 billion, and private capital funds represent AUD79 billion. However, AUM held by real estate funds (AUD28 billion) surpasses that of private equity funds (AUD27 billion). 

Additionally, infrastructure (AUD17 billion) and natural resources (AUD8 billion) account for 31 per cent of private capital assets collectively, compared to just 13 per cent of the global industry represented by these asset classes.

Selina Sy (pictured), Editor – Preqin Insights: Alternative Assets in Australia & New Zealand, says: “The alternative assets industry in Australia & New Zealand is sizeable: Preqin currently tracks over 400 active fund managers, and an equal number of investors, across the two countries. It is clear, though, that the landscape of the industry is somewhat different from the global average. Investors are active in alternative assets at slightly lower rates than average, and much lower proportions allocate to private equity while much higher proportions put capital towards real estate and real assets opportunities.
“This is mirrored by the relative size of the various asset classes. While the large size of the hedge fund industry is indicative of the two countries’ developed and diverse economies, the fact that real estate assets are larger than those held by private equity funds is atypical among their peers. This may reflect the relatively large role that natural resources play in the economies of the two countries: while most European nations are primarily services-driven economies, Australia & New Zealand have large industries focused on mining, food and energy production. As a result, although the investment landscape is as varied as in other developed economies, these sectors play a larger role in the activities of both investors and fund managers based in these countries.” 

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