European Retirement Industry 2021

Reassessing Opportunities Across Multiple Asset Pools

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  • Explore developments in the U.K.’s fiduciary management industry
  • Assess the evolution of the defined contribution pension landscape with a focus on target-date funds
  • Evaluate innovation in the decumulation product space


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Ryan Hanratty

Ryan Hanratty

Account Manager


Examine the Europe retirement landscape, growth projections, and managers’ sales and distribution strategies for addressing pensions’ needs. This pan-European research analyzes the key trends and challenges in the retirement space and how asset managers can succeed in the ever-evolving market.

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Each report is lead authored by a senior Cerulli analyst with significant industry experience. The report incorporates qualitative and quantitative inputs, based on Cerulli’s proprietary research process. Each report is designed to be an expert-level sourcebook for strategic guidance. For more on our research process, click here.

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A Note from the Author

European Pensions Seek Exposure to Private Investments

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.

European pension assets reached €10 trillion (US$11.9 trillion) in 2020 and Cerulli forecasts suggest they will grow to around €12 trillion by 2025, with more than €5.3 trillion of pension assets addressable for managers. While the market is growing, managers are facing an increasingly competitive environment with more consolidation across pension funds—specifically in the U.K.—and fee pressure. Managers seeking mandate wins will find success by offering illiquid assets and providing exposure to private investments, according to our latest research.

Here’s what pension funds are saying:

85% of pension funds polled plan to fully outsource private equity buyout strategies to external managers over the next 12 months. However, around 37% of pension funds anticipate leveraging their existing asset manager relationships instead of appointing new assets managers.

European pensions have shown increasing demand for private investments in recent years, but not all have invested significantly. Nearly half of the Dutch, French, and German pensions expect to increase their allocations to private equity growth strategies and a similar proportion of them will be looking to increase their exposure to real estate equity over the next 12 months.

Within the private debt space, direct lending, trade finance, and infrastructure debt will gather most inflows from European pension funds over the next 12 months.

Our latest report provides a comprehensive overview of the European retirement market. As a guidebook for managers seeking expansion opportunities, our report quantifies the addressability of seven key markets, offers growth projections, and provides an overview of managers’ plans for addressing pensions’ needs, with data drawn from our surveys of pension schemes and institutional asset managers. Take a look at the how the market is changing and where you can gain a foothold.

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