06.18.2015
By Terry Flanagan

CAIS Adds Private Equity to Platform

CAIS, an alternative investment platform for the independent wealth management industry, is adding institutional private equity managers vetted by investment consultant Mercer to its platform.

RIAs and family offices can access Mercer’s strategy recommendations, due diligence summaries on selected funds, and an active menu of investable third party funds. Mercer has advised institutions allocating more than $22 billion across private equity, venture capital and real estate investments.

“Mercer has a very deep core in the private equity world,” Matt Brown, CEO of CAIS, told Markets Media. “It follows hundreds of funds and over a thousand strategies from those fund managers. We’re bringing all of that through the CAIS platform to the benefit of the adviser.”

Advisors increasingly want exposure to private equity, real estate, and venture funds. “With the help of Mercer, they can see a broad menu of funds, and purchase those through the CAIS platform,” said Brown.

The CAIS platform offers access to a menu of private funds at lower investment minimums, with independent due diligence from Mercer, electronic subscription processing and integrated custodial reporting.

“RIAs want access to a menu of options when it comes to alternative investments,” Brown said. “We consolidate a curated menu of funds in our platform that they can choose from and we display the information in a standardized format for them to be able to make a determination if they like the product.”

Many of these firms don’t have the resources to conduct initial and ongoing due diligence for the funds. “Our platform integrates with Mercer, one of the largest alternative investment due diligence firms in the world,” said Brown. “They conduct independent due diligence and rate the managers in our platform.

In order to allow RIAs to easily choose from among managers, CAIS has lowered the investment minimum to $100,000 per investor, and has made the entire manual paperwork process electronic.

In an arrangement with Fidelity, CAIS provides Fidelity’s custodial clients access, education, oversight and execution to a menu of alternative investment funds including hedge funds and private equity funds. “We were selected by Fidelity a year and a half ago to power their entire network of RIAs,” Brown said. “They are the custodians of thousands of RIAs, with about 2 trillion dollars in assets.”

Mercer’s private equity research team actively follows over 500 fund managers which represent approximately 1,200 strategies globally. “Mercer is committed to delivering advisors the most comprehensive private equity solution available,” said David Eisenberg, North America director of client consulting at Mercer, in a release. “The rapid adoption of the CAIS platform by the RIA and family office community over the past five years, as well as the firm’s strong commitment to technology, makes CAIS the natural choice to deliver a world class PE offering.”

Featured image via Dollar Photo Club

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