Nearly half of the asset managers (47%) plan to recruit marketing personnel and 41% are looking to appoint sales personnel in the coming 12 months in a move to support alternative investments, according to a research from Boston-based global analytics firm Cerulli Associates.

The research findings showed that firms have recruited more dedicated sales professionals than any other alternatives-related position in 2012.

According to Cerulli research, the number of sales personnel dedicated to alternative products increased 54% from 2012 to 2013 among managers that distributed alternatives to both retail and institutional clients.

Cerulli suggests firms to make sure that the appropriate resources are dedicated to alternative product lines on an ongoing basis.
The research has revealed that it used product management teams, alternative investment staffing needs, and asset managers’ use of resources to target focus party intermediaries.

Cerulli senior analyst Pamela DeBolt said: "We’ve seen an increase in asset managers capitalizing on investor interest in alternatives by broadening their product lines. To be successful, managers must deepen their staff of dedicated professionals to support these efforts.

"Alternative products can be complex and hard to understand for both advisors and end clients. Firms will be most successful when marketing and sales efforts include a significant educational component," DeBolt added.

"Looking ahead, we are seeing the hiring shift slightly from sales toward increasing marketing staff. Larger firms tend to create more collateral and educational tools and appropriate levels of staff are required to maintain and update these tools."