Institutional Investors Bite off More Than They Can Chew in Their Quest for Better Returns
In the five years since the financial crisis struck, pension funds, endowments and other institutions have reacted by pouring money into overly conservative strategies on the one hand and complex alternatives on the other. Mistrustful of external managers, they’re adding to these challenges by doing more direct investing.
By Julie Segal
Sovereign wealth funds, endowments, pension plans -- across the board, institutional investors are rushing into alternative asset classes to escape the purgatory of low returns they expect from public markets over the next few years. But a new report from State Street Corp.s Center for Applied Research says these investors are failing to make decisions that will help them meet their individual objectives, manage risk and handle the greater portfolio complexity these moves will bring. Irrespective of their stated goal, institutional investors are exhibiting a herd mentality by increasing their exposure to alternatives, says Suzanne Duncan, the reports Boston-based author. While there is nothing wrong with alternatives, whats worrisome is that investors feel unprepared to handle the risks and complexity.
Based on input from more than 3,000 financial industry participants in 60....