Non-listed real estate funds of funds doubled their share of total capital raised in 2017, according to the ANREV / INREV Funds of Funds study released on Wednesday.
In total, €152.3 bn of fresh equity was raised for non-listed real estate, with €8.1 bn or 5.2% destined for fund of funds. This is a record level of new capital and a significant jump from the €3 bn or 2.5% of the total capital that was raised in 2016.
Fund of funds delivered positive returns to their investors, whether broken down by style, structure, regional strategy or size. The results showed that one in seven investors plan to increase their allocations to funds of funds over the coming two years. The sector achieved an annual return of 5.1% over 2017, slightly down on the 6.2% achieved previously.
Global strategies dominate
Funds of funds with a global strategy comprise the largest share of vehicles in the universe, both by number and size. Global strategy vehicles make up just under 50% of the overall vehicles and represent 78.6% of total NAV.
Vehicles with a European strategy followed next, representing 33%, whilst those targeting Asia Pacific represent 20%. Strategies targeting North America were minimal.
All regional strategies delivered positive returns, but those targeting Asia Pacific especially so. After a few years of subdued performance, Asia-Pacific funds of funds posted a remarkable comeback with returns of 15.1% in 2017, a strong come back from the -3.3% recorded in 2016. In comparison, European and global funds generated 6.6% and 4.4% respectively, performance similar to last year.
Confidence in core vehicles
The funds of funds universe is almost evenly split across the three main investment styles, core, value added and opportunity. However, core funds are much larger in size than the other two, in fact making up just over four fifths, 83.1%, of total NAV. They also invest on average in 20 vehicles and 16 managers which is double the number for value added and opportunity funds of funds.
'The results demonstrate that funds of funds remain in good health. For smaller investors in particular, they offer significant diversification options, and the opportunity to create a nice blend of different aspects,' commented Lonneke Löwik, INREV CEO.
'It’s no surprise to see the positive figures from INREV as funds of funds continue to be an excellent tool for investors. They are a great way to achieve exposure to best-in-class fund managers or niche strategies, while simultaneously reducing risk due to significant diversification across sectors and regions,' added Dimme Lucassen, senior investments manager, Aberdeen Standard Investments.