Most mutual fund shops with an alternatives presence don't actually have a central place for information about alts.
That's one of the conclusions the Corporate Insight
team draws from their new report, "Advisors Seek Alternatives: A Deep Dive into Alternative Investment Resources." The report, senior analyst Nick Foster
, is the consulting firm's first look at the subject.
"Having a centralized, dedicated discussion outlet for alternatives is pretty rare," Foster says, noting that of the 19 firms in Corporate Insight's advisor discovery group, only 12 offer materials related to alternatives and were thus covered in the report. Of those 12, only three have some kind of centralized alternatives website or website section.
"We wanted to take the temperature of the coverage group," Foster adds, describing this report as "a survey space of the space" that Corporate Insight might revisit in a year or more.
Corporate Insight also found that most shops define alternatives in terms of alternative strategies, like a long-short or absolute return fund. On the flip side, Foster says, few mutual fund firms frame alternatives in terms of asset classes (i.e. commodities, real estate, etc.).
"There's little discussion of alternative assets
[emphasis added] in the marketplace," Foster says.
Of the firms in the study group, Foster specifically highlighted praised by BlackRock
(which frames the alts discussion in terms of "contents vs. containers"), Invesco
(which discusses both alt strategies and alt asset) and OppenheimerFunds
(which explains its MLP-based products).
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