Money managers and asset owners like pension funds are looking to illiquid and liquid options to counteract what's become the new normal among institutional investment — reduced liquidity in the fixed-income market.
“There's reduced liquidity as a consequence of banks and other actors stepping out, but we're now seeing more hedge funds and other actors providing liquidity in markets like credit,” said Thomas Kehoe, director, global head of research, Alternative Investment Management Association, London. “We're also seeing that more recently in the equity space through the use of securities lending, repos (repurchase agreements) and swaps. Alternative actors are playing a greater role.”
The shift comes at a time when almost half of institutional investors believe decreased liquidity is here to stay. According to a report by State Street Corp., Boston, and the AIMA, 48% of asset owners, investment managers and hedge fund managers said reduced liquidity will be a long-term issue in securities markets.
Also, 30% of survey respondents said their investment portfolios have been less liquid over the past three years, according to a report by the AIMA and State Street, “Let's Talk Liquidity: Opportunities in a New Market Environment.”
Other survey results regarding investment portfolios were:
• 34% of asset owners and 29% of managers and hedge funds will consider increasing their high-yield allocations for higher returns.
• 61% of hedge funds will increase the use of illiquid investments for higher returns, vs. 50% of asset owners and 37% of managers.
• 44% of all respondents will increase the size of their cash allocations against future liabilities and redemptions.