European Alternative Investments 2022

An Alternative Future in the Making

How Alternative Asset Managers Can Seize New Growth Opportunities

  • Understand how alternative asset managers in Europe can formulate their alternative investment business strategies
  • Evaluate the fundraising opportunities retail clients with lower levels of wealth offer private asset managers
  • Assess rising demand for illiquid assets from different retail distribution channels and advisors’ preferred products across Europe
  • Access a comprehensive analysis of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) integration across hedge fund, private equity, private debt, and real estate investments


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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Manager


This report explores the European alternative investment landscape, covering institutional investors and private banks and examining the opportunities for selling illiquid investments to retail clients further down the wealth curve. It assesses demand for alternative strategies from different investors, preferred structures for accessing investments, and investors’ outsourcing approaches. In addition, it explores the evolution of investor demand for ESG integration in alternative investments.

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A Note from the Authors

The Inevitable Democratization of Private Markets

Justina Deveikyte, CAIA

Justina Deveikyte, CAIA


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Justina Deveikyte, CAIA

Justina Deveikyte, CAIA


Justina joined Cerulli Associates in February 2014 and heads the European Institutional Asset Management research practice. In her role, she is responsible for all research activities relating to institutional investors, the firm’s analysis of alternative investments, the environmental, social, governance (ESG) section, and all data-science-based activities. She also contributes to multiple strategic consulting engagements and The Cerulli Edge series.

Justina is the lead author of several Cerulli reports, covering insurance, retirement, ESG, and alternative investments. Throughout her career, she has successfully developed partnerships with industry associations and has presented at several conferences and events across the Europe.

Prior to joining Cerulli, Justina was a Financial Manager and Global Analyst at Global Food Consulting; she previously has provided professional advice on banking products, including unit-linked insurance and third-pillar pension products at SEB Bank Group.

Full biography here.

The democratization of private markets—meaning offering retail investors access to private assets typically reserved for institutional investors—continues to gain momentum across Europe. The majority of investors in private markets have historically been pension funds, insurers, and other large professional investors, but an increasing number of opportunities are opening to less sophisticated or less wealthy individuals as product innovation accelerates.

Exposure to private assets has often been limited by regulations that aim to protect less sophisticated investors. However, that is changing rapidly, with new regulations increasingly opening private market opportunities to retail clients. The EU’s European Long-Term Investment Fund Regulation is a good example of how a review of a certain regulatory framework can lead to the rapid uptake of private assets within retail distribution channels.

Despite new opportunities within retail distribution channels, not all regions and investor types represent equal opportunities for asset managers. The European retail market remains heterogenous in terms of knowledge of and access to private investment capabilities—high-net-worth (HNW) investors and their advisors remain poorly represented in the private asset base. Large minimum investments, illiquidity, lack of suitable products, and cumbersome processes have held wealth managers and their HNW investors back from investing in private assets. Managers will need to address these issues with innovative products and educational initiatives.

Learn more in our latest report, European Alternative Investments 2022.

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