Representatives from global investment group, Investcorp, addressed the 4th Asset Management Conference for the Middle East on the topic of alternative investments and their uses within a balanced portfolio. The event was held under the patronage of the Bahrain Monetary Agency and took place at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain hotel.
Investcorp provided a keynote presentation on alternative investments, which preceded a series of sessions designed to provide delegates with insights on asset allocation, as well as opportunities and growth areas across the range of asset classes.
Ibrahim Gharghour and Deepak Gurnani, Managing Directors and co-heads of Asset Management at Investcorp, highlighted alternative investments as a valuable component in diversifying an investment portfolio, as they can be used to spread risk and buoy up portfolios in periods of equity market downturns.
Mr Gharghour and Mr Gurnani explained that the growing popularity of alternative investments followed the collapse of the bull market of the 1990s. Up until then, many investors had been focused on the attractiveness of exceptional equity returns without regarding fundamental investment concepts such as valuation and diversification. Following the market collapse, many Investors, private and institutional, began to question the rationale of concentrating their investment portfolios solely in ‘traditional’ asset classes such as equities and bonds, and saw the benefit of diversifying by investing in ‘alternative’ asset classes such as private equity, real estate and hedge funds. As a result, alternative investments now represented the fastest growing sector of investment management in many markets around the globe.
Gary Long, Investcorp’s Chief Operating Officer, added: “The fact is that including alternative investments to a traditional portfolio can increase returns. It can also lower portfolio volatility and risk and preserve capital during less favourable public market conditions, as alternative investments have a low correlation to the public markets. Globally, institutions and affluent individuals are allocating a greater percentage of their portfolios to this distinct asset class. Our clients are no exception, and Investcorp is responding to their demands”.
Investment and fund managers as well as institutional and private investors attended the event, which was organized by MEED Conferences.