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(From European Pensions & Investments News)
Byline: Rob Treich, CFA
Alternative investments are certainly a hot topic these days. Hedge funds, private equity and property are getting a great deal of attention as European pension schemes grapple with the "time bomb" of unfunded pension liabilities. And no wonder. Early forays into equity markets by more traditional investors in France and Germany only increased the size of the hole in their balance sheets, while in the more equity-aware countries, the sharp falls in markets have reversed the fortunes of many well-funded schemes. Contribution holidays are out, indexation of benefits is at risk, as in the Netherlands, and it is no wonder that fund trustees are looking at new ways to plug the gaps.
It is not all doom and gloom in the world of equities though. Passive management specialists have …