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Single family offices to favour alternatives within three years

European single family offices expect to reverse their preference for traditional assets in favour of alternatives in the next three years, according to a new report by Campden Research and Merrill Lynch.

The Merrill Lynch Campden European Single Family Office Report 2008 shows that single family offices anticipate switching their portfolio allocation from a ratio of 52% (traditional): 48% (alternative) to 45%: 55%, respectively. The survey of 30 single family offices in 10 countries, including Germany, Switzerland and the U.K, revealed almost 40% have more than €1 billion of investable assets.

"The survey indicates that there will be a decisive shift by single family offices in Europe in terms of asset allocation," said Amir Sadr, head of the Family Office Group, Merrill Lynch EMEA. "Investment in alternative assets looks set to exceed investment in traditional assets. The major winners will be commodities and hedge funds."

Equities dominated the average single family office portfolio, making up 34%, according to the report conducted between October and December 2007.

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