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European alternatives industry hits EUR1.62 trillion in assets

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Although the macroeconomic picture for Europe has been muted in the past 24 months, the continent’s alternatives industry is moving from strength to strength, according to Preqin’s second annual Alternatives in Europe report in published in partnership with Amundi.

2018 has seen record activity across most alternative asset classes, with Europe-based alternative asset fund managers holding EUR1.62 trillion in AUM as of the end of June 2018 – up almost EUR300 billion in just three years.

The opportunities present in Europe are apparent to investors globally – almost half of the institutions with a preference for the region are now based in North America, with significant proportions coming from the Middle East and Asia.

Hedge funds remain the largest part of the European alternatives market (EUR608 billion), but across the industry, AUM has declined in the past 12 months, leaving private equity poised to overtake as the largest asset class in the region (EUR559 billion). 2018 marked a record year for private capital deal making, with transactions surpassing EUR374 billion, while the record rate of fundraising seen in 2017 showed no signs of slowing.

“Europe’s alternative assets industry is in rude health, with assets under management surging even as the wider financial picture remains cool,” says Mark O’Hare (pictured), Chief Executive of Preqin. “Moreover, it is extremely diverse both in terms of asset class and the different regions and countries across the continent. With more than 6,300 fund managers and 3,000 investors active in Europe, it is more important than ever to shed light on the incredible array of opportunities present throughout the region. That is why we are pleased to partner with leading operators like Amundi to present the most in-depth analysis of trends across the industry ever compiled.”

Pedro Antonio Arias, Global Head of Real and Alternative Assets at Amundi, says: “The continued growth of the European alternatives industry demonstrates the vital role that insurance companies, pension funds and asset managers such as Amundi provide in funding the real economy, while Europe’s small and medium enterprises have never had such a diverse range of solutions when considering their capital structure. The benefits for our clients are obvious, with real assets in particular allowing pension funds and insurance companies to capture an illiquidity premium while still delivering superior and predictable returns with a diversified portfolio.”

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