Alt Investments

Baird Wades Deeper Into Alternative Investment Waters

Tom Burroughes Group Editor April 11, 2024

Baird Wades Deeper Into Alternative Investment Waters

One of the firms that has ridden the alternative investments access wave has added to its partnership with a nationwide US wealth management house.

US financial services and wealth management house Baird has expanded its relationship with CAIS, a platform for investments such as private equity, venture capital and real estate.  

Under the arrangement, Baird places all investment products, processes, and data management onto a single platform.

CAIS is one of a handful of firms around the world, such as iCapital (US) and Moonfare (Germany) that have developed platforms which they say give faster and wider access to alternative asset classes that have previously only been open to the ultra-rich and large institutions such as pension funds. CAIS has $430 billion in assets.

As regularly reported (see here), private market investments are increasingly grabbing wealth managers’ attention, fueled by ultra-low interest rates after 2008 that crushed yields on listed stocks and bonds and caused a structural shift toward firms staying private and taking longer to list on public markets. This has created a regular call for regulators and firms to make it easier for affluent and high net worth investors to gain access to private, alternative assets. (See an article on CAIS regarding this.) Less positively, some regulators are becoming concerned that areas such as private credit potentially pose systemic risks.

“The collaboration between our operations team and CAIS to bring funds onto one centralized platform using CAIS’ modern technology for advisors, makes them the ideal partner for us.” Nic Reisenbichler, manager of investment products at Baird, said.

The collaboration puts CAIS’s offerings in the hands of Baird’s roster of more than 1,300 advisors.

CAIS has been building its software-as-a-service technology. In the six months following its official launch, CAIS Solutions has been made available to independent financial advisors who collectively oversee about $1 trillion in assets.

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