IN FOCUS6-8 min read

Video: What does the 'democratisation of private assets' really mean?

This animated video shows why and how access to private assets is becoming more democratic.



Valentina Romeo
Investment Writer

Accessing private market investment opportunities can be an attractive option for individual investors looking for new sources of returns and diversification. But what are they all about?

Private assets are investments not listed on the stock market or readily tradeable. Examples of private assets include private equity, real estate, infrastructure, securitised credit, and microfinance.

Private equity refers to the investment partnerships used to buy and sell unlisted companies for a profit and to generate returns for investors.

Real estate focuses on the investment in physical properties, such as offices, retail industrial and logistics as well as sectors such as hotels.

Infrastructure covers a number of sectors, including airports, telecommunication networks, traditional and renewable energy, smart grids, energy storage and fibre networks.

Securitised credit refers to the bundling of cash flows from various loans, such as mortgages or credit car payments, into bonds known as asset-backed securities.

Microfinance is a type of impact investing that provides loans and other financial products and services to low-income borrowers.

As private assets are generally not listed, and owned by a small number of parties, they are usually much less liquid than publicly-traded assets. While this can make them less volatile, it also brings some other challenges that demand specialist skills.

Deep knowledge of the sectors and experience in managing private assets are essential.

Because of its illiquid nature and complex structures, these investments were previously only accessible to big institutions. However, some types of private assets are now becoming much easier to access for other, smaller investors.

The evolution in the way investors can access private markets is often described as ‘democratisation of private assets’. This means there are now simpler ways to invest with developments to offer flexible liquidity and more diversification. Innovation in the way products are built, technology and regulations have helped to make this happen.

In this video we explain what private assets are, what ‘democratisation of private assets’ means, and what opportunities are available for investors.

Subscribe to our insights

Visit our preference centre, where you can choose which Schroders Insights you would like to receive.


Valentina Romeo
Investment Writer


Follow us

Please remember that the value of investments and the income from them may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amounts originally invested.

This marketing material is for professional investors or advisers only. This site is not suitable for retail clients.

Issued by Schroder Investment Management Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU.

For illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation to invest in the above-mentioned security / sector / country.

Registered No: 1893220 England. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For your security, communications may be recorded or monitored.

On 17 September 2018 our remaining dual priced funds converted to single pricing and a list of the funds affected can be found in our Changes to Funds. To view historic dual prices from the launch date to 14 September 2018 click on Historic prices.