A new survey from Infovest21 says 60% of institutional investors surveyed see hedge funds as a possible solution to pension underfunding problems.
The Q2 2011 survey involved 32 institutions/consultants allocating to hedge funds or funds of funds.
Said Lois Peltz, president of Infovest21: "Institutional investors are primarily looking to hedge funds for non-correlated returns. Potential for higher returns, diversification, and downside protection were cited to a lesser extent."
The survey found the average institution allocated 29.2% to hedge funds and 11.4% to funds of funds. Over the next 12 months, the institutions expect their allocations to increase to 35.5% for hedge funds and 16.2% for funds of funds.
Roughly 50% of respondents have been allocating to hedge funds or funds of funds for more than 10 years.
Over 40% of the respondents said they are using equities to fund hedge funds. Fixed income and cash were each cited by almost 30%.
In terms of strategies, institutional investors were most fond of equity long/short and multi-strategy, although almost 40% of respondents said their view of the latter depended on the asset allocator.
Info21 says country-specific funds, activists, asset-based lending and mortgage-backed securities are out of favor while managed futures and distressed are getting a look-in for the first time by many institutional investors.