BlackRock Inc. is starting two private equity funds targeting wealthy individuals in Europe, as the world’s largest asset manager seeks to tap rising appetite for alternatives among the rich.
The New York-based group expects to raise about €1 billion ($1.1 billion) or more for the new European Long-Term Investment Funds, Edwin N. Conway, global head of BlackRock Alternatives, said in interview. BlackRock previously raised about €1 billion for two similar funds.
“The challenge we and our partners have had is that the wealth community has been slower to adopt alternative assets,” Conway said. “As we come out of moments of uncertainty, we expect to see a pretty significant acceleration in demand.”
While rich individuals in Europe allocate less than 2 percent of their portfolios to alternative assets, that could rise to about 20 percent over time as demand for exposure to asset classes such as private equity, infrastructure and private credit increases, Conway said.
Other large alternative fund managers, including KKR & Co., having being trying to capture more investors seeking to diversify into these assets amid choppy public markets. Blackstone Inc. is starting a private credit fund aimed at wealthy European investors, Bloomberg News reported last year.
One of BlackRock’s new funds—BlackRock Private Equity ELTIF—will comprise 25-30 co-investments and require a minimum commitment of €30,000. The other— BlackRock Future Generations Private Equity Opportunities ELTIF—will invest across five themes: good health and wellbeing, climate, resources, education and financial inclusion.
Both will allocate to companies in Europe, North America and Asia and target growth equity and venture capital investments, as well as traditional buyouts.
BlackRock’s alternative investment arm is looking to expand across a range of strategies including infrastructure, private equity, private credit, hedge funds and real estate, Conway said. It manages about $322 billion in assets through its 50 offices globally.