Swiss institutions develop appetite for alternatives
Compared to many of their counterparts in other advanced
economies, Swiss institutions generally have a longer track record for investing
in alternative investments. The trend started in the mid-1990s when a number of
private pension funds, many associated with the financial industry, began to
appreciate the non-correlated and diversification attractions of hedge funds.
While the multinational giant, Nestle, was a pioneer within the corporate
sector as early as 1996, many public pension funds followed closely behind.
Since a new regulation was introduced in 2000 giving more freedom to Swiss
pension fund trustees to determine their own investment strategy, providing
they took into consideration the liabilities and risk tolerance of their
schemes, hedge funds have become broadly accepted as a key asset class for
Swiss institutional investors.
An annual survey of 146 public and private pension funds,
conducted at the end of 2007 by the...