New "made simple" guide sheds light on alternative investments | PLSA
New "made simple" guide sheds light on alternative investments

New "made simple" guide sheds light on alternative investments

06 December 2011

A new guide is being published today (Tuesday) by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) to help pension funds understand alternative investments.

The guide is launched at a time when the search for different types of investment assets is greater than ever, and it belongs to the highly regarded NAPF made simple series.

Alternative Investments are commonly defined as all investments that are new and outside the mainstream. They can include commodities, listed infrastructure and volatility trading strategies, all of which are only a small fraction of the alternative investments available.

The Alternative Investments made simple offers an overview of the main Alternative Investment types, grouping them by similar traits, and introduces a framework to help pension funds consider their allocation to particular alternative assets. Joanne Segars, Chief Executive of the NAPF, said:

“These are challenging times for pension funds. Investors are on the watch for new market segments or new investment strategies as they search for increased portfolio returns and reduced overall portfolio risk.

“The publication of this made simple guide is very timely, and we hope it will provide a strong contribution to the pension funds’ search for more appropriate investments.”

Alternative Investments made simple is being produced and sponsored by Russell Investments, a global asset management and consulting firm. Commenting on the guide, John Stannard, Co-Chair, Global Consulting & Advisory Services from Russell Investments, said:

“Faced with funding deficits and low interest rates, many pension funds cannot afford to de-risk and are forced to make their assets work harder. One way they can do this is by continuing to diversify into Alternative Investments. However, given the vast array of opportunities available, the lack of consistency in their classification and their increased complexity, this is not easy. We continue to believe that allocations to alternative investment strategies play an important role in a client’s overall portfolio, and we hope that this guide helps the decision making process.”

The guide (hard copy) costs £18 for NAPF members and £35 for non-members. It can be ordered online at

Notes to editors:

1. The Alternative Investments made simple will be launched at the NAPF Trustee Conference today at 11am.

2. Other recent made simple guides include Performance Measurement, Attribution and Risk made simple, Hedge Funds made simple, Stewardship made simple and Derivatives made simple.

3. Founded in 1936, Russell Investments is a global asset management firm that offers services such as consulting, third-party manager solutions, implementation services, fiduciary management and indexes in more than 40 countries. We are renowned for our depth of manager research, quality of manager selection and access to leading investment managers.

4. The NAPF is the leading voice of workplace pensions in the UK. We speak for 1,200 pension schemes with some 15 million members and assets of around £800 billion. NAPF members also include over 400 businesses providing essential services to the pensions sector.


Paul Platt, Head of Media and PR, NAPF, 020 7601 1717 or 07917 506 683, [email protected]

Christian Zarro, Press Officer, NAPF, 020 7601 1718 or 07825 171 446, [email protected]

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