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Alternative asset fund listings demand still high despite volatility

Institutional investors are still confident about demand for alternative asset fund listings over the year ahead as long as funds have a strong ESG focus, according to new research from Ocarian.

The study by the fund administration services provider, found more than three out of four (78%) of institutional investors focusing on the alternatives sector expect an increase in funds listing this year and next.

More than a quarter (28%) of US and UK institutional investors focused on alternatives are predicting a dramatic increase in funds listing with just 15% convinced that the numbers listing will fall given the current macroeconomic and stock market environment of volatility, rising interest rates and inflation plus war in Ukraine.

However, the results of the study among investors focusing on real estate, private debt, and infrastructure, highlight the need for a strong ESG focus for any fund that is planning to list. Around two out of five (40%) investors questioned strongly agree that it will become harder to successfully list funds without taking ESG into account while 51% slightly agree. Only nine per cent are confident listings can be achieved without an ESG focus.

The increasing focus on ESG issues in listings may help explain why some alternative asset managers will look to raise funds privately as opposed to listing. Around 84% of investors questioned expect alternative fund managers to increasingly raise funds privately over the next 18 months. Just 13% do not expect a rise in private fund raising.

The main reason identified by the research is that private fund raising enables managers to access different types of investors. Institutional investors cited cost and the impact of regulatory changes as the second and third most likely reasons encouraging alternatives fund managers to raise money privately.

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