1. Products
  2. Solutions
  3. News & analysis
  4. Resources
  5. About
  6. QuickLinks
  1. Products
  2. Solutions
  3. News & analysis
  4. Resources
  5. About
  6. QuickLinks
  1. Launch

Alternative Asset Investor Types

Industry Definitions

Explore the different types of investors and investment managers that make up the world of alternatives.

Industry definitions

Asset ManagerProvides investment management and consultancy to a range of investors. The asset manager will invest the pooled funds of its clients in a diverse range of asset classes, minimizing risk while maximizing return.
BankA financial institution in which money is kept for commercial or savings purposes or is invested, used for loans, or exchanged. It mainly acts as a payment agent for its customers to lend and borrow money, as well as provide a variety of financial services.
Endowment PlanA fund created in support of the work of a particular non-profit institution, frequently seen for universities.
FoundationNon-profit organization with some sort of philanthropic purpose in the sense that it either invests in order to accumulate capital to donate funds and support to other organizations, or provides the sole source of funding for its own charitable activities.
Fund of Funds Manager
Specialist fund manager, raising funds from the capital of institutional investors with which investments in other private capital funds are made. It may provide exposure to funds that would otherwise be inaccessible to smaller investors.
Government Agency
A permanent or semi-permanent unit of a government which is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions. Its functions are executive in character.
Hybrid Manager
An investment manager that offers a vast range of services often similar to the services provided by advisory firms, investment banks, private capital firms, hedge funds, and asset managers. It mostly invests in private capital and hedge funds simultaneously.
Insurance Company
Guarantees compensation for loss or damage in return for a premium. Insurance is therefore a form of risk management.
Investment Bank
An institution that acts as an agent or underwriter for corporations and governments issuing securities. Some also provide broker/dealer operations, as well as offering advisory services to investors. It facilitates mergers and acquisitions, private equity placements, and corporate restructuring.
Investment Company
Invests the pooled capital of its shareholders in a variety of asset classes. Investment companies take three forms: open-ended investment companies (mutual funds), closed-end investment companies (closed-end funds), and Unit Investment Trusts (UITs).
Multi-Family Office
A privately-owned firm that manages investments and trusts for multiple wealthy families.
Private Capital Firms
Investment managers that raise funds through limited partnerships which make investments in unlisted companies or assets. May also make primary commitments to other private capital funds. Includes private equity, private debt, real estate, infrastructure, and natural resources firms.
Private Sector Pension Fund
Pool of fund contributions that invests in a variety of asset classes for the exclusive purpose of financing pension plan benefits. Private sector pension funds are regulated under private sector law.
Public Pension Fund
A fund set up by a government entity to invest the pension contributions of members and employees in securities and a variety of assets, as well as pay out pensions to those people when they reach retirement age.
Secondary Fund of Funds

A manager that raises fund of funds vehicles through which it purchases fund stakes on the secondary market.
Single Family Office
A privately owned firm that manages investments and trusts for a single wealthy family.
Sovereign Wealth Fund
A state-owned investment fund which is composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property, precious metals, or other financial instruments. It is usually of major economic and fiscal importance and is sometimes invested for the purposes of investment return.
Superannuation Fund
A pension fund that can be either public or private. It is mostly prevalent in Australasia, although can be found in other places.
Wealth Managers
Wealth managers are firms that provide advisory services, investment management, and financial planning services to private investors, generally high-net-worth, ultra-high-net-worth, and family office investors. Some entities also provide family office services to clients.