You are here: Home » Markets » News
Business Standard

World's super-rich families bet on hedge funds in economic upheaval: Survey

More than a third of 185 investment firms for wealthy clans plan to boost allocations amid the pandemic

Hedge funds | Super rich people

Ben Stupples | Bloomberg News 

mutual funds, digital
Family offices and other investors soured on hedge funds in recent years, bemoaning high fees and lackluster returns

Family offices are heading back to

More than a third of 185 investment firms for wealthy clans plan to boost allocations amid the economic upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to survey released Wednesday by BlackRock Inc. and Juniper Place, a London-based firm that helps asset managers raise capital.

Family offices and other investors soured on in recent years, bemoaning high fees and lackluster returns. But the health crisis has given some of those managers a boost, particularly stock-pickers who benefited from aggressive bets on technology stocks and copious economic stimulus that drove equities to new heights.

“Recent market turmoil and the expectation of sustained volatility in the medium term has re-invigorated hedge fund appeal,” New York-based BlackRock and Juniper Place said in their report.

Family offices have proliferated in recent years along with a surge in personal wealth derived from tech, finance and real estate. Some of the largest include Bill Gates’s Cascade Investment and Sergey Brin’s Bayshore Global Management. There are now more than 10,000 single-family offices globally, according to accounting firm EY. Single family offices, which have just one client, had average assets of $802 million, according to research published in 2019 by Campden Wealth and UBS Group AG.

More than three-quarters of family offices said they preferred long-short equity hedge funds, according to research BlackRock conducted in July and August. Such funds were the best performing broad strategy last year, gaining about 4% through November on an asset-weighted basis, according to data from Hedge Fund Research Inc.

The firms also plan to increase allocations to asset classes that typically made up the bulk of their portfolios before the pandemic struck, such as private equity and real estate, according to the report. In addition, they’re increasingly exploring sustainable investments, with 80 per cent of family offices now including some form in their portfolio.

“Family offices no longer see sustainable investing as a compromise on investment returns,” Sheryl Needham, BlackRock’s head of family offices for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said in a statement.

BlackRock, the world’s biggest asset manager, oversaw $7.8 trillion at the end of September.

(With assistance from Hema Parmar.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, January 06 2021. 18:52 IST