Jim Barry is in fighting spirits even as the ferocious market rebound drains his pool of cheap investible assets.
The chief investment officer at BlackRock Inc.'s alternative investment unit is looking to deploy some of his $23 billion cash war chest on companies laid low by the pandemic. He's sizing up new opportunities in distressed real estate, and private debt and equity.
While the market rebound is enriching corporate valuations, the economic carnage the world over is creating all manner of cross-asset prizes, Mr. Barry said in an interview.
"There is no question that dislocations have created opportunity," said the managing director, who is also head of real assets at the investing behemoth. He estimates that valuations for alternative assets fell by 5% to 15% in the first quarter.
BlackRock, which deployed $9 billion in alternative investments last year, is unlikely to spend all of its private capital in 2020, Mr. Barry said. Deals have become harder as competition gets fiercer and evaluating deals, which in some cases include on-site visits, takes longer.
Demand for alternative investments has ballooned in recent years with endowments, pension funds and institutional investors willing to accept higher risks and less liquidity in return for higher yields.