How to Better Manage Private Investments

By Ethan Baldwin

On February 11th, VP of Business Development at IMS Ron Rossi, Senior VP at Chalice Wealth Partners Steve Katcher, and CEO and Founder of VENTURE.co Aaron Pollak sat down for a webinar hosted by VENTURE.co’s Managing Director Trevor Nesbit titled “Managing Private Investments.” 

To listen to the full webinar, click here.

The conversation centered around the barriers that financial advisors face when managing alternative investments. The panelists discussed types of private placements, the current market climate, attributes and benefits alternatives can bring to a portfolio, and the strategies for adding non-exchange securities to investor portfolios.  

Private Placements: Commercial Real Estate, Energy, and Corporate 

Ron Rossi led off the conversation with an insightful look at the current commercial real estate market, one of the core alternative investment classes.   Multifamily, the hottest market segment, has seen an increase in student housing and senior living sub-segments. Self-storage and industrial have become burgeoning asset classes over the past decade, while the retail and office asset classes have been stagnating. 

Aaron Pollak described two other core alternative segments, Energy and Corporate. Energy alternatives include direct participation programs, limited and general partnerships, exploratory funds, income funds and land lease funds including 1031 and Delaware Statutory Trust (DST) structures.  

Advantages of Alternatives 

Steve Katcher addressed the attributes and advantages of private placements, including low correlation with publicly traded investments. Private placements are often less liquid, but in some cases, lack of daily mark-to-market capability can be a plus. They can meet holistic client wealth needs through potential tax advantages as well as increased diversification. Steve said, “Where portfolio liquidity Is not the priority, and there is a longer investment horizon, alternative investment classes can offer the potential for higher risk-adjusted returns.”

Due Diligence

All three discussed the strategies that have been implemented to improve investor access to alternatives. Polled attendees noted that due diligence is one of the greatest barriers to managing private investments. VENTURE.co has been employing legal opinions from Mick Law to provide advisors with professional third-party due diligence. VENTURE.co has also created technology to streamline compliance procedures and the due diligence process. Chalice Wealth Partners has focused on internal due diligence including a strong investment committee and due diligence in support of their advisors and their clients. 

Utilizing Technology 

Technology has improved the ability of independent advisors, broker-dealers, and issuers to utilize alternative investments. Software solutions provided through VENTURE.co, Chalice, and IMS have created greater efficiency in the investment process, from origination to subscription. Technology has allowed advisors to focus on their clients, matching products to financial goals.  Technology has also been helpful in accumulating, sorting and delivering financial reporting statements. These innovations have led to greater transparency and can, in turn, lead to greater trust.  Moreover, Venture.co offers a range of customization features to adapt its platform to particularized needs.  The effect in many cases is to free legal, accounting and financial operations professional to focus on more complex tasks. 

Advisor Education 

Chalice Wealth Management has focused on advisor training and education, so that advisors can gain the skills and knowledge better to utilize alternatives. Two new products, AI Insights and Alts Academy, will give advisors up-to-date research and training tools as well as investment information. These tools will allow advisors to analyze and compare a range of investments. Knowledge, correct implementation, and compliant documentation are key to taking advantage of alternative investments. 

Overcoming Barriers 

Some advisors face barriers when attempting to utilize alternative investments. Due diligence, evaluation, and transparency are some of these barriers. Shifts in technology brought to the alternative investment space by firms like VENTURE.co, Chalice and IMS have helped investors transcend these barriers. These firms have implemented solutions that focus on due diligence, compliant administration of subscriptions, reporting, transparency and education.