Spanish investors will double their bet on private alternative assets

Spanish investors will double their bet on private alternative assets

The need to diversify portfolios and increase profitability will double investment in private equity, private debt and real estate

The need to diversify portfolios and obtain higher returns will double the investment in real estate.

The weight of the private assets in Spanish investment portfolios will go from 2.8% to 5.2% in a period of three to five years due to the need to diversify portfolios and obtain higher returns.

This percentage increase is equivalent to going from a current estimated volume of 15,000 million euros invested in these assets by pension plans, insurance companies, private banking and family offices, up to 28,000 million euros.


This is clear from the study on ‘Alternative Fund Investors in Private Markets’ produced by Natixis Investment Managers, which measures the evolution of investment in private assets in Spain, including private capital, private debt, real estate and infrastructure assets.

According Sophie del Campo, Managing Director of Natixis IM Iberia, Latam and US OffshoreIn the current scenario of uncertainty, volatility, low interest rates and limited returns in many asset classes, “the need for diversification, de-correlation and obtaining higher returns can provide a decisive boost to alternative assets.”

Despite the growing interest in private assets, there are obstacles that limit their expansion in Spanish portfolios. These include regulatory limitations, the long investment horizon, illiquidity, its novelty and significant market fragmentation.

Family office, the most interested

Within the groups of investors, family offices are the ones that invest the most in private assets. So he recognizes it Sergio Míguez, partner and CEO of Alternative Ratings, for whom investment in these assets is not homogeneous among the different types of investors, “it is the segment that encompasses family offices that presents a greater degree of progress in its allocation to private assets.”

The study foresees that the capital invested in these assets by the segment of family offices, multi-family offices and independents reaches 12.1% of their total portfolios within three to five years, compared to the current 8.9%.

Their main motivations for investing in them are diversification, the search for additional profitability, active management and the potential substitution of portfolio assets.

Private banking

Private banks are also betting on investment in private assets and they will go from 2% that they now represent in their portfolios to 4% in a period of three to five years, according to the study.

Among the reasons for investing in them are the improvement of the product offer and the linkage of this type of investment with the real economy.

In Spain, 100% of private banks offer private equity funds, although the subcategories of real estate and renewable infrastructures are gaining attractiveness in the sector.

In the case of insurance companies, the allocation to these assets in terms of committed amounts is 1.2% of the portfolio and the report’s forecast is that it will rise to 3.6% in the next 5 years.

Pension plans

In these finalist savings vehicles there is a great disparity with respect to investment in private alternative assets.

In the employment plans private assets account for 6.8% of committed capital and will grow to 11.6% in the horizon contemplated in the study.

A much higher percentage than that of individual pension plans in which regulatory limitations make the weight of these assets marginal.

In the opinion of Jorge Ferrer, partner of finReg 360, Regulatory and tax issues are the determining factors for Spanish investors in private assets, so “entities must carefully analyze these factors, as well as their distribution strategy when selecting the most appropriate vehicle.”

The preferred asset in the case of employment plans is private capital, which is present in 80% of the portfolios. Others, like private debt, are growing “considerably” in recent years, according to the report.

Limitations for retailers

Also there is a growing demand for these assets from retail investors, but there are limitations to the distribution of such vehicles, so that foreign AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds) are only accessible to professional investors.

Therefore, according to the study, legislative progress must be made in making the marketing of these investment vehicles more flexible so that retailers, “with the necessary protections, can more easily access private assets that would allow them to diversify their portfolio and obtain returns without correlation with the market ”.

Global trend

The boost in private assets is not an exclusive trend in Spain, it is a global phenomenon. Worldwide, in the last 10 years the amount of capital committed to these assets has almost tripled, from € 323 billion in 2009 to € 894 billion in 2019.

The need to diversify portfolios and increase profitability will double investment in private equity, private debt and real estate

The need to diversify portfolios and obtain higher returns will double the investment in real estate.

The weight of the private assets in Spanish investment portfolios will go from 2.8% to 5.2% in a period of three to five years due to the need to diversify portfolios and obtain higher returns.

This percentage increase is equivalent to going from a current estimated volume of 15,000 million euros invested in these assets by pension plans, insurance companies, private banking and family offices, up to 28,000 million euros.


This is clear from the study on ‘Alternative Fund Investors in Private Markets’ produced by Natixis Investment Managers, which measures the evolution of investment in private assets in Spain, including private capital, private debt, real estate and infrastructure assets.

According Sophie del Campo, Managing Director of Natixis IM Iberia, Latam and US OffshoreIn the current scenario of uncertainty, volatility, low interest rates and limited returns in many asset classes, “the need for diversification, de-correlation and obtaining higher returns can provide a decisive boost to alternative assets.”

Despite the growing interest in private assets, there are obstacles that limit their expansion in Spanish portfolios. These include regulatory limitations, the long investment horizon, illiquidity, its novelty and significant market fragmentation.

Family office, the most interested

Within the groups of investors, family offices are the ones that invest the most in private assets. So he recognizes it Sergio Míguez, partner and CEO of Alternative Ratings, for whom investment in these assets is not homogeneous among the different types of investors, “it is the segment that encompasses family offices that presents a greater degree of progress in its allocation to private assets.”

The study foresees that the capital invested in these assets by the segment of family offices, multi-family offices and independents reaches 12.1% of their total portfolios within three to five years, compared to the current 8.9%.

Their main motivations for investing in them are diversification, the search for additional profitability, active management and the potential substitution of portfolio assets.

Private banking

Private banks are also betting on investment in private assets and they will go from 2% that they now represent in their portfolios to 4% in a period of three to five years, according to the study.

Among the reasons for investing in them are the improvement of the product offer and the linkage of this type of investment with the real economy.

In Spain, 100% of private banks offer private equity funds, although the subcategories of real estate and renewable infrastructures are gaining attractiveness in the sector.

In the case of insurance companies, the allocation to these assets in terms of committed amounts is 1.2% of the portfolio and the report’s forecast is that it will rise to 3.6% in the next 5 years.

Pension plans

In these finalist savings vehicles there is a great disparity with respect to investment in private alternative assets.

In the employment plans private assets account for 6.8% of committed capital and will grow to 11.6% in the horizon contemplated in the study.

A much higher percentage than that of individual pension plans in which regulatory limitations make the weight of these assets marginal.

In the opinion of Jorge Ferrer, partner of finReg 360, Regulatory and tax issues are the determining factors for Spanish investors in private assets, so “entities must carefully analyze these factors, as well as their distribution strategy when selecting the most appropriate vehicle.”

The preferred asset in the case of employment plans is private capital, which is present in 80% of the portfolios. Others, like private debt, are growing “considerably” in recent years, according to the report.

Limitations for retailers

Also there is a growing demand for these assets from retail investors, but there are limitations to the distribution of such vehicles, so that foreign AIFs (Alternative Investment Funds) are only accessible to professional investors.

Therefore, according to the study, legislative progress must be made in making the marketing of these investment vehicles more flexible so that retailers, “with the necessary protections, can more easily access private assets that would allow them to diversify their portfolio and obtain returns without correlation with the market ”.

Global trend

The boost in private assets is not an exclusive trend in Spain, it is a global phenomenon. Worldwide, in the last 10 years the amount of capital committed to these assets has almost tripled, from € 323 billion in 2009 to € 894 billion in 2019.