CAIS 2017 Survey: Trump Administration Viewed As Biggest Global Risk

Mar 7 2017 | 10:20pm ET

Uncertainty surrounding the Trump administration represents the biggest potential global risk in 2017, according to a survey of alternative investment industry participants at the 2017 Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, while other top risks include cybersecurity, China, the upcoming European elections and Brexit. 

More than 200 fund managers, institutional investors, economists, regulators and other industry leaders were polled during the conference, during which over 500 attendees explored the theme of “Defying Gravity: The Future of Alternative Investments in Exceptional Times” with speakers such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, David McWilliams, John Mauldin and Mark Yusko. 

Highlights of the 2017 CAIS Survey:

  • 44% of respondents picked the Trump administration as the biggest potential global risk in 2017, followed by cybersecurity (25%), China (14%), European elections (13%) and Brexit (4%).
  • A majority of survey respondents (85%) believe the alternative investment industry will grow assets over the next five years, with 46% predicting there will be fewer funds than there are today and 39% predicting there will be more funds. 
  • Comparatively, only 8% believe the industry will shrink in terms of both assets and funds, with 7% foreseeing fewer assets but more funds in the future.
  • A majority of respondents (51%) picked a win by Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election as the next event most likely to upset global markets, followed by Angela Merkel losing the German chancellor election (39%) and Geert Wilders winning the Dutch parliamentary election (9%).
  • Investors most bullish on non-traditional asset classes: 40% of investors are most bullish about the opportunity for 2017 returns from real estate and real assets, far outpacing commodities (28%), equities (18%) and credit (14%)
  • Philanthropy continues to be a big theme: A third of survey respondents said they regularly donate to a variety of causes or charities, with an additional 27% donating to a specific cause or charity. However, 22% take it a step further by also sitting on the board of a charity and partnering with other philanthropic organizations or investors.
  • Artificial intelligence poised to disrupt 2017: Nearly a third of attendees (31%) think AI is the emerging technology that will have the most impact on the world in 2017. Other popular choices included robotics/automation (19%), blockchain (18%), cybersecurity (16%), self-driving cars (10%) and wearable tech (5%).

The Cayman Alternative Investment Summit is a not-for-profit annual event that brings together the world’s leading institutional investors, fund managers, academics, economists, regulators and service providers to discuss and debate the issues confronting the alternative investment industry.


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