EUROPE – Institutional investors across continental Europe are increasingly outsourcing their asset management, according to the results of a soon to be published survey by Greenwich Associates(GA), the Connecticut based research and consultancy firm.

The report finds that this trend extends to both the average number of outside managers that companies are using and the percentage of institutions that are actually outsourcing their assets.

According to GA consultant, Berndt Perl, this is because institutional investors across continental Europe are increasingly adopting management strategies that are taking them into areas where they have less experience.

Overall, 42% of plan sponsors on the Continent anticipate hiring additional external managers next year, claims GA. The report notes that the demand for specialty mandates rose from 33% in 2000 to 38% this year. Furthermore, the majority of new mandates have gone to foreign managers, with a shift from large balanced to specialist portfolios.

The average number of managers used for segregated accounts also rise, says the report, with Spain, Switzerland and Italy showing the largest increases.

The research involved GA conducting interviews with 280 people from pension funds, insurance companies, foundations, corporate treasury funds and other large institutional companies across continental Europe. They were asked about asset allocation, compensation and manager assessment, among other topics.