Peter Arnold will join the firm in early June to lead Schroders’ alternative sales unit which was established last year to distribute its private assets products.
Arnold joins after 18 years at Citi where he was global head of international fund distribution specialising in private debt, real estate and global infrastructure in the institutional space. He has also worked at JP Morgan, UBS and Societe Generale.
He will report to Georg Wunderlin, who joined Schroders in February from HQ Capital as global head of private assets, and global head of distribution John Troiano.
Wunderlin said: “Clients are increasingly looking to invest in illiquid assets which aim to deliver stable and consistent returns that are uncorrelated to public markets.”
Retail investors increasingly eye private assets
The announcement comes as Cerulli Associates research finds retail investors are increasingly drawn to private markets for diversification, alternative income, and sustainable investment opportunities.
Its latest monthly product trends survey said private market assets are able to provide a smoothing effect on a portfolio’s volatility as the value of traditional asset classes has come under pressure from falling markets, geopolitical events and economic factors.
“A busy macroeconomic landscape is prompting retail investors to look more closely at their portfolios,” said its associate director for European asset management research, Fabrizio Zumbo. “They are becoming more risk averse and using private markets as a diversifier.”
However, DFMs have warned investors need to be careful about some of the private asset products on offer where the nature of risk can be tricky to understand.
Schroders’ private assets and alternatives business manages £38bn in assets. It acquired specialist hotels investment business Algonquin in 2018 and private equity specialist Adveq in 2017.