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Thursday, November 9, 2023

Opening doors to the world of alternative investments

As technology and finance intersect to create impactful solutions, iCapital stands out for its intuitive offering that streamlines the process for those venturing into alternative investments like private equity, private debt, real assets and hedge funds. 

Asset managers in the alternative investment space can list their funds on the firm’s integrated digital platform iCapital Marketplace ↗, tapping into a pool of private wealth managers seeking access to such investment opportunities. iCapital Marketplace functions as an online catalogue, accessible via a single access point, that provides access to alternative investment opportunities to help wealth managers diversify their clients’ portfolios. Private banks have also leveraged iCapital’s technology solutions to scale their private market business and digitalise the client experience. 

“iCapital’s mission is to empower wealth managers and financial advisors with the tools and education necessary to seamlessly navigate alternative investments and deliver the best outcomes for their clientele,” said Mr Marco Bizzozero, head of international at iCapital.

As of Sep 30, 2023, iCapital services US$170 billion (S$233 billion) in global client assets. Around US$27 billion comes from international investors outside the United States, spanning over 1,300 funds. With offices in six global financial capitals outside the United States, including Zurich and Singapore, iCapital is able to provide local market expertise, build market-specific investment opportunities and connect investors with top-tier alternative investment managers worldwide. 

FUELLED BY INNOVATION AND A COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION

iCapital Marketplace functions as a digital platform that provides access to alternative investment opportunities to help wealth managers diversify their clients’ portfolios.

Harnessing proprietary technology, iCapital Marketplace aims to supercharge efficiency and scalability for both asset and wealth managers. It eliminates barriers to entry by offering a comprehensive digital solution that covers the entire investment cycle, from fund subscription to reporting and documentation. 

What further sets iCapital Marketplace apart is its robust due diligence capabilities, assessing fund managers on the basis of their track records, value creation, investment strategies and team experience. “With our tech-driven approach, we’ve refined the investment experience. This allows wealth managers to scale their investor base, achieve operational efficiencies, and at the same time offer a better client experience. Our goal is to make investing in alternative assets as easy and convenient as buying a mutual fund,” added Mr Bizzozero.

iCapital places a heavy emphasis on education to help wealth managers and advisors navigate the complexities of alternative investments, in turn ensuring that their clients can make informed decisions on their investment journeys. 

“Education is essential when introducing alternative investment products to clients,” said Mr Bizzozero. “With iCapital’s education solutions, wealth managers can ensure that their advisors are fully equipped to position alternative investments in a diversified portfolio. This fosters better outcomes for clients in terms of increased diversification and potentially higher risk-adjusted returns.”

GROWING ITS CAPABILITIES 

Looking ahead, iCapital plans to significantly grow its international footprint, improve operational efficiency and ensure heightened security driven by distributed ledger technology. It also intends to broaden its fund offerings to cater to an increasingly diverse investor base. This encompasses various strategies within private markets and hedge funds, along with direct co-investments and structured products.

In the US, the firm recently launched iCapital Architect ↗, an innovative portfolio construction tool that enables wealth managers and financial advisors to build personalised portfolios aligned with their clients’ return objectives and risk profiles. 

Among the tool’s many features are resources for evaluating historical performance and conducting institutional-quality risk factor analyses – key attributes for developing insightful investment recommendations. The firm is poised to launch iCapital Architect internationally next year.

Said Mr Bizzozero: “Since iCapital’s inception 10 years ago, our mission has been to connect the wealth management community and alternative asset managers through cutting-edge technology and service excellence. Our solutions are transforming the experience in accessing and investing in alternative investments for advisors and their clients.”

Explore the potential of alternative investments with iCapital ↗

James Mackreides
James Mackreides
'Mac' is a short tempered former helicopter pilot , now a writer based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Loves dogs, the outdoors and staying far away from the ocean.

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