Two fifths of pension schemes are open to investing in alternative asset classes to reduce their portfolio risk, according to Aon Hewitt, increasing their need for advice in this area.
A survey of 750 delegates at its annual conference highlighted the increasing willingness of trustees and pension professionals to diversify into new asset classes.
Aon Hewitt global investment practice partner Tim Giles said: "In the current hostile market environment, pension schemes are examining every opportunity to balance risk and reward in their investment strategy."
The study findings reflected prior research from the consultancy which found 36% of schemes expected to increase their allocation to alternatives over the next year.
Giles added: "These seem to be taking various forms, including examining alternatives to traditional indexation approaches, accessing a wider spectrum of absolute return bonds funds or exploring better diversified hedge fund investments."
The consultancy also said there has been a rise in the number of schemes looking for advice on how to assess and access new asset classes and unfamiliar investment strategies.
Previous research from Towers Watson revealed pension funds invested $1.3trn (£870m) in alternatives last year.
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