Alternative funds in the US are set to double their share of total assets while their European peers struggle with regulation.
Analytics firm Cerulli Associates says alternative mutual fund assets made up just 3% of US mutual fund assets at the end of 2013, but this could rise to 6% by 2015.
"Steady growth of alternative mutual fund use is expected by advisers and individuals in the years to come," says Michele Giuditta, an associate director.
"Current allocations are well below target levels, so there is an opportunity for investment managers to raise assets."
Cerulli Associates says asset managers and advisers continue their efforts to close the educational gap that currently exists with alternative products.
In Europe, those managing alternative investments are regulated under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD).
Consultancy KPMG says the latest figures, compiled around the AIFMD's July 22 deadline, show that the UK received 1,130 applications and approved 644 of them.
Luxembourg received 773 applications and approved 638. The corresponding figures for France are 303 and 263, for Germany 291 and 130, and for Ireland 123 and 99.
KPMG says western European countries are leading the way in terms of applications, as expected.
However, a recent survey by BNY Mellon and FTI Consulting found that nearly a fifth of firms had not established their alternative investment fund structures in time for the July 22 implementation date of the AIFMD.
Another survey, commissioned by law firm Hassans International and consultancy Deloitte Gibraltar, found that only 64% of alternative fund managers were ready for the deadline and a sixth admitted they were not ready. The remainder said they planned to find workaround solutions such as phasing in compliance by 2018.
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