GLOBAL - Asset managers must partner with pension funds in an effort to educate them on the number of new investment strategies, BlackRock's head of institutional business in Europe has said.

Charles Prideaux, head of the company's EMEA institutional business, also said fiduciary management would grow across Europe, as smaller investors grappled with the challenges posed by governance.

He said that, in a challenging environment, investors will be forced to consider diversifying back into asset classes they have avoided in the past.

"We expect to see appetite return for asset classes that investors may have previously shied away from, but with a greater focus on risk management and due diligence," he said.

"Asset managers have a role to play in partnering with pensions schemes, insurers and endowments to educate them on new strategies and to help meet their specific funding requirements."

He further predicted that, in an effort to guarantee value-for-money, asset managers will be asked to employ beta more effectively, while combining this with higher-alpha exposure.

Examining the pension market, Prideaux said defined contribution would become more prominent and even the approach employed on management level.

He added that discussions about best governance methods, as well as structures for defined contribution schemes, would continue, especially considering the UK's focus on auto-enrolment and the launch of its National Employment Savings Trust.

In other news, strategic investors have become critical to the successful launch of new hedge funds in a climate of rising expenses, the chief operating officer of seeding business FRM Capital Advisors has said.

Patric de Gentile-Williams said that with markets beginning to stabilise, many in the hedge fund industry will be likely to strike out on their own and launch funds.

"Strategic investors, of which seeders are a major type, give new funds a solid foundation from which to launch and grow," he added.

"A credible day-one investor provides validation that encourages other investors to conduct their own evaluations."

Finally, Insparo Asset Management has launched a fund targeting the development of sustainable companies in Africa.

The fund, unveiled at the beginning of the month, will invest across the continent, with a 20% limit set on exposure to South Africa.

Fund manager Jamie Allsopp argued that while the company took a long-term investment view, recent volatility in Northern Africa offered good entry points into the market.

He added: "The penetration of goods and services in Africa is still relatively low, and African consumers are projected to spend $1.8trn (€1.3trn) in 2020, an astonishing increase of more than $1trn from 2008."