09.23.2013
By Terry Flanagan

Alternative Marketplaces Gain Traction

Electronic marketplaces for alternative investments are being built out, with platforms such as AlphaMetrix, CAIS, and FNEX, and SecondMarket connecting hedge funds with fund of fund managers, wealth management advisors, and family offices.

“Both fund of fund advisors as well as hedge fund managers will be important players as the demand for liquid alternative strategies continues to grow,” said Brian Haskin, CEO of Alternative Strategy Partners. “Fund of fund advisors and hedge fund managers will bring their expertise to the market in different ways, each serving different segments of the retail channel.”

CAIS, and independent marketplace providing access to institutional funds and products, has expanded its product menu to include capital markets syndicate offerings. CAIS will centralize equity and fixed income new issues from leading underwriters and financial sponsors, providing wealth advisors the opportunity to obtain allocations of IPOs and follow-on offerings generally only made available to institutional investors.

Bank underwriters and financial sponsors that partner with CAIS gain streamlined distribution into the fragmented multi-trillion dollar independent wealth management industry.

Capital markets syndicate is the latest addition to CAIS’s existing product offering, which includes top-tier hedge funds, private equity funds, structured products and precious metals.

“We believe that providing capital markets access is an important addition to our established product menu of alternative investments and structured products that will better enable advisors to meet their clients’ growing investment needs,” said Rafay Farooqui, co-founder and president of CAIS.

FNEX.com, an online marketplace for alternative investments, provides accredited investors, family offices and institutions access to investment opportunities offered by investment banks and funds across the United States, including placements in private companies, hedge funds and managed futures accounts.

The FNEX platform provides investors with the necessary tools to educate themselves on alternative investment opportunities and enhance their ability to make informed and targeted investment decisions.

“The marketplace for alternative investments and private placements used to be about who you know, and sourcing opportunities were difficult and ad hoc,” said Todd Ryden, CEO of FNEX. “We have eliminated that issue and created an environment where accredited investors can focus their time on evaluating a deal, instead of trying to simply find an opportunity. Importantly, FNEX leverages technology to increase efficiency and transparency in a traditionally opaque market. This expands access to capital without creating disintermediation for any traditional market participants.”

AlphaMetrix helps private investment market participants identify and invest in alpha-generating opportunities, via a secure, online marketplace that matches managers with qualified investors and advisors, allowing investors to transact with selected managers with a heightened sense of confidence.

AlphaMetrix has 100,000 active profiles of pre-qualified industry participants and serves to connect investors, service providers and funds to facilitate research, due diligence and efficient business operations. The marketplace lists nearly 150 live transparent funds, and conducts manager and investor due diligence and performance monitoring to ensure the integrity of the data used analyze investment opportunities.

Public equity investors transacting on the secondary markets generally are buy-and-hold investors looking for high growth companies with a strategy for achieving that growth. SecondMarket provides products and services that enable companies, community banks, student loan issuers and funds to manage liquidity, raise capital and communicate with their stakeholders.

SecondMarket’s stated goal is to help public equity investors be a larger part of the capital formation process for private companies, as it will become standard for companies to raise larger amounts of capital while staying private longer. In turn, investors gain access to the long-term growth opportunities in emerging private companies.

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