AssetMark, the $74 billion turnkey asset management platform, has partnered with iCapital Network to expand the alternative investments available to its RIAs, a move to meet increasing demand for the asset class from high-net-worth investors and wealth managers.
Founded in 2013, iCapital is a fast-growing alternative investments platform used by more than 70 companies and has partnerships with Charles Schwab, BNY Mellon’s Pershing and others. It hopes to become as ubiquitous as the New York Stock Exchange as it adds more customers and partners and becomes a go-to resource for wealth managers. The company recently acquired AI Insight, an education, research, and compliance company focused on the same asset class.
Often white-labeled within organizations, iCapital’s platform already services $73 billion in global client assets across more than 760 funds, including hedge funds, private equity, private debt, real estate, and others (although, few venture capital funds and that might never change).
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Called “AssetMark Alternative Investments by iCapital,” the new service was a natural addition to a suite created specifically for RIAs dubbed AssetMark Institutional unveiled in March.
“At AssetMark we always have prided ourselves on offering an open architecture platform that is curated,” David McNatt, senior vice president of Investment Product Management and Development at AssetMark, told RIA Intel. “This really is an augmentation of what we are doing today.”
RIAs that use AssetMark will now have access to a “curated selection of fully diligenced alternative investments” with low minimum investment requirements and a “seamless end-to-end investing experience.” Much of iCapital’s appeal involves broadening access to asset managers and funds that investors might otherwise not have. The platform also makes the necessary reporting, subscription and administration, and document management of alternative investments easier. Those things can make investing in alts difficult or effectively impossible for some wealth managers.
“This is really about us helping RIAs grow and differentiate their businesses and to be able to meet the demands of accredited and qualified high net worth investors,” McNatt said.
Only 45% of financial advisors allocate any client money to alternative investments. But investors, especially the wealthiest, are interested in opportunities beyond public markets to increase income or returns and diversify portfolios. Those desires, coupled with better accessibility and education about alternatives, are adding star power to the asset class amid a surge in the number of wealth managers seeking the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, or CAIA, designation. Global alternative assets under management could grow from $10.7 trillion in 2021 to $17.2 trillion in 2025, according to Preqin.
At the inaugural AssetMark Institutional RIA Summit in May, iCapital co-founder and Managing Partner Nick Veronis is giving a presentation.
AssetMark’s first quarter was eventful. In February, it promoted two employees to replace then President and CEO Charles Goldman, a mountaineer outspoken about the wealth management industry. In March, AssetMark acquired Voyant, a Texas-based financial planning software firm with only one client in the U.S. but a growing business internationally.
Michael Thrasher (@Mike_Thrasher) is a reporter at RIA Intel based in New York City.