Wilshire Launches 5 More Liquid Alts Indices

Oct 8 2014 | 11:01am ET

Santa Monica, Calif.-based Wilshire Associates Incorporated has launched five additional strategy-specific liquid alternative indices.

The five comprise the Wilshire Liquid Alternative Index, which was introduced in early August and designed to serve as the industry standard for measuring aggregate performance of the liquid alternative mutual fund universe. The new indices aim to provideperformance assessm ent metrics for the most common liquid alternative investment strategies implemented in mutual fund vehicles.

The new indices are cover liquid alternative equity, event-driven, global macro, relative-value and multi-strategy funds.

The new indexes draw on the expertise of two Wilshire business units: Wilshire Funds Management, the investment management arm of the firm which advises on over $130 billion in assets, and Wilshire Analytics, the technology foundation and creator of the Wilshire 5000.

Wilshire estimates that the number of liquid alternatives strategies available in the marketplace has increased nearly 500%, from approximately 75 investable options at the end of 2008 to 450 mutual fund products as of June 2014. Evaluating the performance of these liquid alternative funds, however, has proven challenging.

“Having first gone through an in-depth process to build a comprehensive liquid alternative mutual fund space that categorizes funds based on our assessment of the strategy they are running, we are able to create strategy-specific indices that align with what managers are actually  doing,” said Jason Schwarz, president of Wilshire Funds Management, in a statement. “These five new indices mirror industry-accepted hedge fund categories, but use an apples-to-apples approach given that the underlying index constituents are mutual funds as opposed to hedge funds."

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