Global asset manager – Fidelity International – has announced its minority acquisition of German firm – Moonfare – in response to growing demand from investors for alternative investment strategies.

Under the partnership, which will commence in April 2021, Fidelity’s customers will gain access to Moonfare’s leading digital investment platform for high quality private market funds.

The announcement follows Fidelity’s recent transition into private credit, advancing its alternative asset offering. As the first institutional investor to take an equity stake in Moonfare, the partnership represents a pivotal moment for Fidelity.

The partnership will operate across major parts of Europe, starting with Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Austria before expanding into further international markets.

Commenting on the decision, Andrew McCaffery, global CIO at Fidelity, said: “At Fidelity, we have bold ambitions to build a broader alternatives capability in the coming years, spanning private markets, real assets, and liquid alternative strategies.

“Our partnership with Moonfare and its market leading open-architecture platform, combined with the recent introduction of a new private credit team, provides a strong foundation for future growth plans in real assets and private markets.”

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Managing director of Europe Fidelity International – Christian Staub – will also join Moonfare’s advisory committee.

According to a statement from the firm, Fidelity was impressed by Moonfare’s emphasis on fund selection, its digital platform, low investment minimums and disruptive fee structure.

Following recent expansion into real asset categories, such as infrastructure, Moonshare hopes to profit from improved connections with leading asset managers and banks.

Moonfare founder and CEO, Steffen Pauls, added: “Since inception, we have been connecting our clients, some of the most sophisticated investors in the world, with top private markets funds. Fidelity’s clients and team will fit perfectly into this group going forward.”

Explaining the importance of alternative assets in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, McCaffery continued: “Extreme global debt burdens and sustained negative real rates are leading to higher risk and uncertainty for long-term asset allocators.

“The traditional 60/40 model has been challenged recently, and as a result, alternative investments, such as in private equity and debt, have begun to play an important role in investors’ portfolios as they look to diversify and enhance long-term returns.”

McCaffery concluded: “We believe alternatives will become a permanent and growing feature of asset allocation decisions across all investors going forward.”