Market volatility and the rising popularity of alternative assets will play major roles in the future of OCIO arrangements, industry experts say.
Michael Cagnina, Oaks, Pa.-based vice president and managing director of the institutional group at SEI Investments Co., said stock and bond markets had performed well for about a decade until this year, a period of extreme volatility. "Thus, many of the newer OCIO firms have only known bull markets and low interest rates," Mr. Cagnina said. "As we have entered a more difficult market environment, OCIOs with longer track records and more experience — those that have navigated both bull and bear markets — might be better suited to cope with the current headwinds."
SEI reported $100.7 billion in worldwide outsourced institutional AUM with full or partial discretion as of March 31, according to Pensions & Investments data.
With respect to this year's market volatility, OCIOs have the expertise to weather such storms — like quickly rebalancing and reallocating in a market sell-off, noted William Jarvis, the New York-based head of strategic thought leadership in Bank of America's philanthropic solutions group, which includes OCIO. The investing climate of 2022 presents a stark contrast to the era of low interest rates and easy money of the past decade or so, he said, suggesting clients likely need more assistance in managing assets in an increasingly difficult market environment.
Mr. Jarvis also pointed out that OCIOs are increasingly allocating money to alternative assets like private equity, commodities and real estate, as their clients seek "prudent diversification" and risk controls in their portfolios.
Mr. Jarvis noted that investors need exposure to private markets and other asset classes for such diversification, beyond just stocks and bonds.
Bank of America reported $38.9 billion in OCIO AUM for worldwide institutional as of March 31, up 9.9% from the prior year.