Money managers' efforts promoting real assets are achieving results, with increases in most of the component parts of that category during 2012, according to Pensions & Investments' annual survey of managers of U.S. institutional, tax-exempt assets.
For the year ended Dec. 31, money managers in the survey had a 9.27% rise in real estate equity to $284.2 billion; a 17.7% rise in inflation-protected securities to $124.9 billion; an 11.8% increase in real estate investment trusts to $61.8 billion; a 9.1% jump in commodities — excluding gold — to $30.6 billion; and a bump of 7% for timber to $16.5 billion.
But assets managed in infrastructure are down 10.4% to $6.3 billion, after showing increases every year since P&I started tracking infrastructure assets as of year-end 2006. Infrastructure assets grew 27% in the previous survey.
Meanwhile, growth in the other hot alternative investment category — debt and credit — continues to be uneven. Distressed debt is up a mere 2.2% to $23.7 billion while mezzanine debt is down 9.8% to $6.92 billion. This is the reverse of last year's survey findings in which mezzanine increased by more than a third but distressed debt was down 18%. Privately placed debt was up 13.6%, to $54.5 billion. However, assets invested in collateralized debt obligations were down 22.85% to $10.14 billion and mortgages (whole loans) were down 16.13% to $57.13 billion.
Bank loans grew 37.44% but the data are skewed by the inclusion of two managers that were not on the previous year's list.
The growth story for many of the remaining alternative asset classes also was lumpy. Venture capital assets under management picked up 5.28% to $17.2 billion, after rising by a slender 1.5% in the previous survey, and private equity dropped 7.5% to $43.19 billion.