01.27.2015
By Terry Flanagan

Aequitas Capital Launches Alts Academy

Aequitas Capital Management, a provider of alternative investments including private equity, private credit and specialty finance, is seeking to widen its network of registered investment advisors through a partnership with Circle Squared Alternative Investments, a provider of outsourced CIO services specializing in alternative assets.

Aequitas has selected Circle Squared Alternative Investments and its CIO and founder, Jeff Sica, to lead the RIA training and education for the ACP Alts Academy, which will provide training and education to RIAs and the advisor community on alternative investments and strategies to meet the demands of high-net-worth investors.

Brian Rice, Aequitas Capital

Brian Rice, Aequitas Capital

“We are trying to build out solutions for the RIA community, and this investment in the Alts Academy is really about webinars, video messaging, and panel discussions,” said Brian Rice, executive vice president and head of the wealth management division of Aequitas Capital Management. “We’ll do podcasts, white papers, and, face-to-face training. We tend to target those that have an appetite for growth and most of our solutions are focused on accredited investors. I see a real value here in continuing to help RIAs differentiate their practice and grow their business.”

Circle Square’s premise is that modern portfolio theory, which underlies the endowment model espoused by Harvard, Yale, and others, needs to be translated into strategies that RIAs can apply in practice.

Circle Squared recently launched the CSQ Institute to provide education and training to financial advisors on the broad spectrum of alternative investments. The goal is help advisors better understand various types of alternative investments and teach them how to perform diligence on them. The Institute will also offer recommendations for the integration of alternative investments into client portfolios.

“We want to empower the advisor community to participate in the projected growth of alternatives and enhance their value to their clients through improved knowledge around these investments,” said Sica. “The great benefit of this partnership is advisors will now have the ability to use the education and training to construct better performing portfolios.”

Alternative investments, a long time staple of institutional investors such as pensions, endowments, and foundations, are becoming increasingly popular among retail investors, especially those with wealth created through private investments such as private equity in their own businesses.

“In looking at the growth trends with alternative investments within the advisory community, the adoption of alternative investments in their client portfolios is still relatively small compared to that of the institutional markets,” said Keith Gregg, president of Aequitas Capital Partners, a distribution arm of Aequitas Capital Management.

Today, RIAs allocation to alternative investments is 4.3 percent, but expected to grow to 15 percent by 2020, he said.

Aequitas Capital Partners is a membership network of registered investment advisors that have a growth orientation, an appetite/appreciation for alternative investments, and are serving high net worth clients. “They continually see a higher demand from their clientele of their interest for alternative investments versus traditional capital market investments that are subject to the whims of the market and the volatility of the market,” said Gregg.

Aequitas Capital Partners represents the U.S. retail distribution of Aequitas Capital Management. “Aequitas Capital Management has alternative investment expertise and products that we distribute to the RIA marketplace,” said Gregg. “We’re out there looking for strategic partners who want to be members of this network that we have established, something that looks very similar to what M Financial is for the insurance industry. We’ve created the same for those advisors that use alternative investments to serve their high net worth clients.”

Featured image via Paris Pao/Dollar Photo Club

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