More than four out of 10 pension funds are hiring alternative investment managers to handle more of their assets, according to Eager, Davis Holmes. In its midyear report of institutional mandate hiring activity, the investment management consultant found that a record 42% of the managers that pension funds (note: the study is limited to those that disclose hiring information) work in alternative investments, up from 38% of awarded mandates in 2005 and 26% in 2004. Further, alternative investments are now grabbing nearly one-third of all placed asserts, compared with 26% last year and 15% in 2004. The 2006 midyear assets figure is nearly five times the slice of that just three years ago, according to EDH. As a result of the upward trend, those pension consultants that have strong alternative research teams have seen their share of the pension advisory market share, most notably Callan Associates, Wilshire Associates, Ennis Kupp, New England Pension Consultants and Pension Consulting Alliance.