A new survey has found that 27% of fund selectors say that their firm is shifting investment strategy from public markets to private markets.

CoreData's survey, which interviewed 130 European fund selectors throughout June, found that the push towards private markets may be due to performance, with 31% of respondents thinking that private markets offer stronger return prospects than public markets going forward.

Furthermore, the survey suggested that investors might be gravitating towards private markets due to ESG benefits, with 38% believing that private markets will be instrumental to net zero.

Real assets such as renewable energy infrastructure are likely to become more sought after in the path to net zero, with over half of respondents (55%) stating that their firm plans to increase investment in renewable energy infrastructure over the next five years.

Meanwhile, when asked what fund selectors look for when investing in private markets, expertise was the most important factor at 79%. A long track record in managing private assets is next at 75%, followed by outperformance of the markets (68%) and ESG considerations (54%).

Despite some attraction to private markets, other respondents argued that as the space becomes more popular, the market will get less appealing.

44% of respondents believed that private markets are getting too crowded, becoming more difficult to allocate capital within the sector. Also, 36% said private markets will soon be subject to tighter regulation.

"These findings show how private markets are fast becoming central to investment strategies as they move from the alternative to the mainstream," said Andrew Inwood, founder and principal of CoreData.

"While private markets offer the prospect of superior, uncorrelated returns, they also present a broader opportunity set by tapping into structural trends at the forefront of economic and sustainable change."