Frustrated by low bond yields, institutional investors are expected to make some big moves this year, moving more of their assets into real estate and other alternative investments, according to a BlackRock survey. 

BlackRock polled 169 of its largest institutional clients to find that they are shifting, or considering shifts in, asset allocations based on "patchy" growth in developed economies, monetary policies that vary widely from country to country and possible deflationary actions. They're also concerned about an escalation of geopolitical tension. 

"Mixed economic growth forecasts and shifting monetary policies are significant challenges for our clients. These conditions are testing investors' ability to generate sufficient returns to meet their long-term liabilities," said Mark McCombe, senior managing director and global head of BlackRock's Institutional Client Business. 

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