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Retail investors are embracing publicly registered “liquid-alternative” mutual funds and ETFs at an astonishing rate, according to a recent survey conducted by Citigroup’s Prime Finance Unit. In the U.S., Citi projects that retail demand for liquid-alt funds will increase assets under management from $259 billion in 2012 to $779 billion by 2017 (a CAGR of 25 percent). The total global market for liquid-alt funds is expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2017, and more than 70 percent of this will be retail.

Independent Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs) are driving liquid-alt growth. As Citi notes: “These advisors have an open architecture approach to product and are active in supporting new (liquid-alt) fund launches.” 

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