Alternative assets under management have reached $6.3trn (€5.7trn), up from $5.7trn (€5.2trn) in 2013, according to a global alternatives survey Towers Watson jointly published with the Financial Times.
623 asset managers have been surveyed. The top 100 alternative asset managers, led by Australian Macquarie Group and ranked by total AUM, have managed $3.5trn (€3.2trn) on behalf of their investors in 2014 compared to $3.26trn (€3trn) in 2013.
Of the Top 100 alternative investment managers, real estate managers have the largest share of assets (33% and over $1trn), followed by hedge funds (23% and $791bn), private equity fund managers (22% and $767bn), private equity funds of funds (10% and $342bn), funds of hedge funds (5% and $214bn), infrastructure (4%) and illiquid credit (3%).
Towers Watson points out that there were no real assets nor direct commodities fund managers among the top 100 ranking by total AUM.
Pension funds are the largest investors in alternative assets (33%) among the top 100 alternative asset managers, followed by wealth managers, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, banks, fund of funds and endowments and foundations.
The geographical repartition of assets invested in alternatives sees America accounting for 46%, followed by Europe (35%), Asia Pacific (10%).
Around 55% of the managers domiciled in Europe are based in the UK; 19% are in Switzerland and 14% in France. Approximatively 96% of North America managers are domiciled in the US.
The report also reveals that fund of funds assets managed by the top 25 fund managers have amounted to $122bn (€111.9bn) in 2014.