EUROPE - Hedge funds and real estate are regaining favour according to IPE's extensive new survey on the investment activity of pension funds in Europe, which was carried out in partnership with Invesco.

Over 120 investors from 25 countries were polled on their investment portfolios and intentions for 2010's European Institutional Asset Management Survey (EIAMS).

European institutional investors, witnessing stronger returns after a weak 2008, began to focus on higher returns while still closely monitoring potential risk of investments.

To this end, many stepped up their involvement in hedge funds, while the majority of respondents singled out real estate as an area worth further investment.

"The 2010 survey results certainly pick up the drive to recovery and reversion to ‘trend' by investors, as they rebalance their portfolios by reducing their cash holdings, outsourcing more and showing an increased appetite for alternatives, among other actions," said Yves Van Langenhove, head of institutional sales at Invesco Continental Europe, which sponsored the independent research.

Additionally, institutional investors began to look for external managers again, with transparency of investments as well as clear risk control being important to those surveyed.

Overall, of the €333bn of assets controlled by respondents, only 36% were managed internally, with fixed income one of the few areas chosen to remain in-house.

"There is a sense of a return to normality and investors appear resolute about resuming from where they were before the traumas and dramas inflicted by the financial meltdown," concluded Van Langenhove. 

See pages 18-19 of the July edition of IPE for more details or download the entire report from or