Preqin: Institutions Warming To CTAs

Nov 8 2012 | 9:06am ET

Institutional interest in CTA funds has more than doubled since 2008, according to new data from the research firm Preqin.

There are now 713 global institutional investors with active CTA portfolios, up from 504 in 2011 and 331 in 2008.

According to Preqin, 42% of hedge funds of funds invest in CTAs, as do 25% of public pension funds.

Among the CTA funds themselves, 1,298 are managed futures strategies, with 62% managed from North America, 32% from Europe and 6% from Asia and rest of world.

Last year saw the launch of a record number of CTAs, at 165, according to Preqin's records. The data provider says such spikes tend to follow years of positive performance for the industry,

“CTA/managed futures have often been regarded as an 'all-weather' investment choice, with historical performance characteristics that make the strategy highly relevant during periods of relatively low returns and generally rising asset class correlations,” said Preqin's Amy Bensted in a statement. “Year on year, more investors are adding CTAs to their portfolios of alternative asset funds in order to tap into this diversified liquid source of alpha.

"Correspondingly, more managed futures vehicles are being launched in order to cater to the growing interest in the strategy. Despite recent disappointing performance by CTA vehicles, investor interest in the strategy continues unabated with 14% of fund searches initiated in October 2012 including a managed future mandate.”

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