The latest numbers from data provider Preqin point to a swelling demand from investors.
The alternative assets industry reached a record $7.8tn in assets under management in 2016, according to Preqin.
Hedge funds saw their assets hit a record $3.25tn, despite net investor outflows through the year. Private capital funds, meanwhile, increased their assets by over 7%, from $4.27tn as of the end of 2015 to $4.59tn 12 months later.
While private equity funds represented the largest proportion at $2.58tn, followed by real estate ($785bn), private debt was a mjaor growth area at $605bn.
The majority of investors reported to Preqin in June 2017 that they were satisfied with the performance of their investments across most asset classes. However, there is a sharp divide in opinion: over the three years to the middle of 2017, more than a fifth of investors in private equity, real estate, private debt and infrastructure said that these asset classes had surpassed their performance expectations.
Conversely, across the same period 50 per cent of natural resources investors and 70 per cent of hedge fund investors felt that their portfolios had underperformed.