New York-based financial technology specialist CAIS has been ramping up to tap this under-served base with its business-to-business platform that allows wealth advisors to offer alternatives to their high-net worth clients. CAIS works within existing regulatory requirements for reaching out to qualified investors.
“We are an operating platform that advisors log into and then they see a menu of funds and products,” said Matt Brown, CEO of CAIS. “We solve the informational issues, executions and purchasing of these products. When you research and buy something on CAIS, it all integrates. It’s a marketplace for institutional products.”
This summer, CAIS launched a new alliance with Mercer as an advisor and due diligence provider to help it expand its fund menu and offer a diverse selection of private equity investment opportunities. In another recent move, CAIS hired Frederick Kauber as managing director and chief technology officer. His experience includes more than 25 years in enterprise technology roles at IBM, Dun & Bradstreet, First Data Corp, Tranzact and Bigfoot Interactive.
Now, CAIS is looking to add more private equity funds that will be offered to qualified prospective investors via its wealth manager network. Brown encourages GPs to contact CAIS through its website to get their funds considered. After launching the effort earlier this summer, the response from prospective funds has been strong, he said.
“If they do come on our platform, we’d have Mercer perform due diligence and rate the fund,” he said. “We’ll always have a rotating group on the platform representing different sectors and styles. We’ll be targeting five or so at any one time.”
CAIS will select top-rated funds for its fund menu to be featured only during GP fundraising periods for closed-end private equity pools, he said. In return, CAIS offers private equity firms access to the fragmented channel of wealth advisors, bringing diversification to the investor base for GP funds.
“The main reason that funds list on our platform is they want streamlined access to a differentiated shareholder base,” Brown said. “The clients that use our platform are not typically large institutions; they are the wealth management contingent. By gaining capital across our platform from these [clients], you’re in effect bringing in sources of new capital and diversifying your base.”
By Steve Gelsi