The impact of alternative assets on the performance of Brazilian private pension funds



Linha de Pesquisa
Administração e Economia de Negócios

Francis Amim Flores, Carlos Heitor Campani, Raphael Moses Roquete



Revista Contabilidade & Finanças, v. 32, n. 86, pp. 314-330. Abstract: This article assesses the impact of alternative assets on the performance of Brazilian private pension funds. Few studies touch on this topic in Brazil and most only investigate the addition of alternative assets and their impact on the performance. The market of open private pension funds in Brazil has been growing rapidly in recent years and gaining much relevance, especially after the announcement of the reformulation of the Brazilian pension system. In 2018, the Free Benefit Generating Plan (PGBL) and the Free Benefit Generating Life (VGBL) represented more than 94% of total assets in their sector. The Brazilian specially constituted investment funds (FIEs) of PGBL and VGBL private pension plans are characterized by their dependence on fixed income assets. Brazil currently faces an unprecedent low interest rate scenario – which, following a worldwide panorama, seems to be set for a long time – and pension fund managers must search for alternative investments that aggregate both risk premia and diversification. The results of this study may support managers in this little-discussed matter. We compare the performance of FIEs without additional alternative assets versus the portfolio with alternative assets, adding a hedge fund index, an equity mutual funds index, a commodity index, an electric power index, a public utilities index, a gold index, and a real estate index. Several performance measures were used, considering Brazilian regulations and a rebalancing strategy. Our results showed that almost all alternative assets used in this study improved the performance of the Brazilian FIEs of PGBL and VGBL private pension plans, especially the public utilities index and the hedge fund index. Some even improved the portfolio tail risk.

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