CAIS Charts Expansion As Platform Volume Surpasses $3.5 Billion
Key Enhancements Lead to Greater Opportunity for Independent Wealth Advisors
In a year when many firms have faced challenging market conditions, CAIS continues to grow and has invested substantially in maintaining its position as the leading financial product platform for independent wealth management. CAIS made a commitment in Q3 2015 to reimagine its platform along three key themes: client experience, product delivery and partner integrations. The additional $1 billion in total purchase volume across the CAIS platform since that time demonstrates the company’s success as it paves the way for continued expansion in 2017.
Uniting a Fragmented Wealth Management Market
CAIS was established with a vision to create a financial technology platform that unifies the fragmented independent wealth management community into the concentrated buying power required to obtain institutional-level access to leading alternative investment funds and other financial products. This critical mass also provides a mutual benefit to fund and product providers by providing cost-effective and efficient access to the multi-trillion-dollar independent wealth channel, which would otherwise remain largely untapped and hard to reach.
With an unwavering focus on serving the independent wealth community, CAIS has aggregated thousands of registered investment advisors, broker-dealers, single and multi-family offices onto its platform who collectively control hundreds of billions in investable assets. In parallel, CAIS has negotiated improved access to a broad menu of in-demand hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and bank sponsored capital markets opportunities. Since inception, the CAIS platform has facilitated over $3.5 billion in total purchases across these product lines.
“This significant traction represents only a portion of the evolving market opportunity. CAIS is committed to continuing to transform its platform to provide more efficient access to products previously inaccessible to the independent wealth management channel,” said Matt Brown, CAIS founder and CEO.
World Class Fintech Team
The evolution of the platform began with a focus on team. Under the leadership of Chief Technology Officer Fred Kauber, CAIS doubled the size of its technology team, adding veteran technical craftsmen from preeminent global financial services firms that have deep experience in enterprise portal design, platform integration, scalable transaction processing architecture and agile development practices. In addition, CAIS has combined its marketing and technology teams to ensure that a client will enjoy an experience that is engaging and consistent from the time that a client learns of CAIS through the time they have transacted utilizing the platform.
“We are deeply proud of the pace at which we have been able to grow both our team and our platform capabilities over the past year while setting a new standard for the high level of service and seamless customer experience that our clients expect of CAIS,” commented Mr. Kauber.
Integration Across Industry and Client Platforms Alike
CAIS routinely delivers multiple platform releases each month, enabling its wealth management clients to benefit from a steady stream of new functionality without taxing their often stretched operational and IT resources. Key among these regular enhancements has been the ability to engage with advisors on their platforms of choice through a series of robust partner integrations.
Over the last 12 months, CAIS has launched single sign-on and data exchange capabilities with Envestnet | PMC, Envestnet | Tamarac and Orion that also permit advisors automatic enrollment as a CAIS Platform Member. CAIS is uniquely positioned in the industry to accommodate the diversity of reporting needs that advisors seek to satisfy through third-party platforms. CAIS supports above the line reporting via integration with all major custodians in addition to robust custom data exchanges with platforms such as Envestnet | Tamarac and Orion that offer a level of detail not typically available via custodians.
“CAIS offers our counselors streamlined access to alternative investment funds and strategies that can help clients reach their financial goals,” said Stephen Stelljes, President of Client Services at The Colony Group, a Focus Financial partner firm. “The integration of CAIS with other strategic wealth management platforms will make it easier for our counselors to leverage a diversified suite of alternative strategies for their clients.”
Integration across wealth management platforms is an important emerging trend in the advisor community. CAIS has studied this need and ushered in the next generation of its platform integration strategy with a focus on the advisor’s own enterprise. In October 2016, CAIS completed an integration with the HighTower enterprise portal, enabling HighTower’s advisors to access CAIS as easily as they access their employee benefits information. An array of similar enterprise integrations are already in the pipeline for 2017.
“The products and research available through CAIS are vital tools that our advisors can use to help clients achieve their financial goals. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our integration with CAIS,” said Matthias Kuhlmey, head of enterprise acquisitions for HighTower.
Personalized Advisor Destination Experience
As CAIS has focused on unifying other platforms in the advisor ecosystem through partner integrations, it has also continued to enrich its own platform as a destination for financial advisors. CAIS debuted its Platform Membership model in 2016, offering the broader advisor community expanded access to the platform’s premier products and research.
Enhanced personalization has also been a central theme of CAIS’s ongoing enhancements, as demonstrated by the introduction of features such as the Client Snapshot, which allows an advisor to easily navigate client portfolios. Advisors can access a high level summary or detailed transaction data while being informed of timely and relevant content which complements the client’s portfolio in the process. Navigational enhancements have also been introduced to guide advisors who may not be intimately familiar with the nuances of alternative investments or capital markets in the use of the platform, and to introduce them to relevant research from Mercer and other partners.
Market Recognition and Outlook
The wealth management industry has taken notice of CAIS’s achievements during the past year. CAIS was awarded the 2016 WealthManagement.com Industry Award for Hedge Funds/Private Equity in October 2016 in recognition of pioneering access to alternative investment funds and its expanded efforts to level the playing field for independent financial advisors. In addition, CAIS took home the Best Newcomer honors in its first year of competition at Fuse, an annual hackathon hosted by Orion Advisors to spur innovation and integration among fintech platforms.
As 2017 approaches, the CAIS platform is well-positioned to embrace the opportunities of an evolving market. A November 2016 research report from McKinsey on the North American asset management industry, entitled “Thriving on the New Abnormal”, suggests that the industry is on the brink of a “once in a generation shift” that will set trillions of dollars in motion, with much of this capital finding its way into alternative assets, and specifically private equity. These are precisely the asset classes which the CAIS platform has been honed to allow independent wealth managers to efficiently research and invest in.
CAIS is the leading alternative investment platform for financial advisors who seek improved access to and education about alternative investment funds and products. CAIS provides financial advisors with a broad selection of alternative investment strategies including, hedge funds, private equity, private credit, real estate and structured notes, allowing them to capitalize on opportunities and/or withstand ever-changing markets. Additionally, CAIS provides an industry-leading learning system, CAIS IQ, that helps advisors learn faster, remember longer and improve client outcomes.
All funds listed on CAIS undergo Mercer’s independent due diligence and ongoing monitoring. Mercer diligence reports and fund ratings are available to advisors on the CAIS password-protected platform. CAIS streamlines the end-to-end transaction process through digital subscriptions and integrated reporting with Fidelity, Schwab and Pershing, making investing in alternatives simple.
Founded in 2009, CAIS, a fintech leader, is empowering wealth management by leveling the playing field for financial advisors everywhere.
Want to learn more?
For more information about investment opportunities available on the CAIS Platform, contact a CAIS representative.