A key challenge for those exploring the trend towards direct investing is to define it in a way that is objective and allows for the direct investing market to be characterized and quantified.
In this report direct investing is defined as investing in which the future asset owner makes the decision to take part in a specific investment. For example, the investor who decides to invest in a toll road is a direct investor. The investor that invests in a third-party fund which, in turn, decides to invest in the same asset is an indirect investor.
Under this definition, the direct investor may still make use of service providers for steps in the investment process, so long as the investment decision itself is made internally.