- January 1, 2015: Vol. 2, Number 1

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Keene column

by Jim Keene

Major university endowments’ stellar investment performance in the last 25 years has popularized alternative investing. David Swensen’s Pioneering Portfolio Management laid out in a compelling and understandable manner the benefits that real assets, venture capital, private equity, hedge strategies and the like could bring to portfolios. With the proliferation of alternative investment managers and increased access to alternatives, even the most reluctant advisers offer some alternatives to clients.

Atherton Consulting Group completed a survey of 20 wealth managers (15 RIAs and five family offices, geographically dispersed with total AUM of $37.6 billion) to determine how they view, evaluate and use alternative investments. Here are the key findings.


Firms have differentiated approaches to alternative investments based on investment philosophy, capabilities and marketing perspectives. The four primary groupings are:

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