We recently had an opportunity to visit with the iCapital Network team, and after going through appropriate qualifying steps, viewed the full platform. It’s quite impressive, and offers HNW investors (and others) the opportunity to invest in private equity, private credit, venture capital, real estate and hedge funds. So in fact, they fulfill one of the original mandates of the passage of the JOBS Act, which was to democratize alternative investments. We think it’s a tremendous platform – meticulously designed with rigorous, but streamlined, risk management and reporting. No doubt an excellent vehicle for UBS to invest in, and one our readers should consider for their client base and internal investment vehicles as well.
NEW YORK, July 11, 2017 – iCapital Network, the financial technology platform democratizing alternative investments for high-net-worth individuals and their financial advisors, today announced that UBS Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: UBS) has invested in the company, joining lead investor BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) as a strategic partner.
Founded in 2013, iCapital’s online platform offers the high-net-worth community access to a curated menu of alternative investments such as hedge funds and private equity funds. As part of its offering, iCapital provides an end-to-end technology solution automating the unique subscription, administration and reporting processes of these investments, which have historically only been available to institutional investors. iCapital will use the infusion of capital to further develop the core functions of its innovative platform—through which the retail market can access alternative investment funds—and to make the technology behind its platform widely available as a workflow enhancement to the wealth management community.
“We are fortunate to have strategic partners at both the financial and commercial level with a desire to challenge the operational status quo and advance industry standards around alternative investments,” said Lawrence Calcano, Chief Executive Officer of iCapital Network. “UBS is leveraging the power of technology to help financial advisors deliver the best possible service experience to their clients.”
Alongside the investment, UBS will incorporate iCapital’s proprietary technology into its private fund operations to streamline and automate its alternative investment offering. The relationship emphasizes the importance of alternatives in a holistic wealth management approach while signaling a need for an industry-wide solution to the manual and paperwork-intensive processes traditionally associated with private investments.
“We are excited to re-engineer our alternatives infrastructure and equip our financial advisors with the efficiencies, intelligence and controls of tech-enabled workflows. iCapital’s proprietary technology and end-to-end service offering provide a seamless operational solution, making these strategies and exposures more accessible and helping advisors deliver better service to their ultra-high-net-worth clients,” said Jerry Pascucci, Managing Director at UBS and Head of Alternative Investments, Wealth Management Americas.
Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.