Alternative Investment Awards 2017 11 AI170003 iCapital Network is a financial technology platform that simplifies access to alternative investments, such as private equity and hedge funds, for high-net-worth investors and their advisors. We invited CEO Lawrence Calcano to tell us more about the firm and share the secrets behind its success. Founded in 2013, iCapital Network is a powerful financial technology platform that provides modular alternative investment solutions for reg- istered investment advisors, broker-dealers, private banks, family offices and other sophisticated investors. The state-of-the-art online portal offers a curated selection of private equity, private credit, venture capital, real estate and hedge funds, extensive due diligence support, an automated subscription process and integration with a wide range of custodial platforms and reporting packages. The firm’s customizable technology and specialized suite of services is also used by asset managers and financial institutions to streamline and automate their private fund operations. Lawrence discusses how the firm works to ensure that this innovative system provides a wide range of clients with access to previously unreachable funds and investment options. “iCapital Network was created to democratize access to alternative investments for high-net-worth individuals and their advisors. Historical- ly, access to these types of private investments has been restricted to institutional investors and insiders due to high minimums and an infra- structure that was built to support a small number of large transactions. We have harnessed the power of technology to streamline the fragment- ed and time-consuming fundraising process for asset managers while automating the diligence and subscription process for investors. “The result is a financial technology platform that supports individual investors, the advisors they rely on for guidance (including registered investment advisors, broker-dealers, private bankers and family offices) and asset managers with private fund operations. Further, while our platform delivers an end-to-end solution between the investor and the asset manager, our technology can also be acquired and implement- ed on a modular basis – just the electronic sub-doc functionality, for instance – or fully customized to address the specific needs of the user. “In addition to ourtechnology platform, iCapital also provides private equity funds and hedge funds at significantly lower entry points than are available on a direct basis. Most private equity funds require a $5 million minimum investment, with some as high as $20 million, while hedge funds typically require at least $1 million. We provide a curated menu of investments that have been fully vetted by our Due Diligence & Origination team along with institutional-quality diligence reports, fund presentations and other analytical tools. Through our platform and access vehicles, investors can get into funds for as little as $100,000 each, making it easier to diversify their exposure to alternative asset classes.” Besides opening up access to institutional-quality investing opportu- nities, one of iCapital’s highest priorities is delivering a state-of-the-art, technology-enabled experience to its clients. To achieve this the firm employs a modern technology toolset from application framework to infrastructure, which allows it to remain nimble and responsive in its product release cycles while aligning with current integration standards. Lawrence outlines the importance of remaining at the forefront of emerging developments in the financial technology space. “Providing our clients with cutting edge technologies and support is of vital importance, therefore we have an extensive in-house development group with specialists in systems engineering, security, UI/UX and third-party implementations, which is closely aligned with our Investor Services Group, the frontline to our investors. We also initiate inde- pendent third-party examinations of our service organization controls (SOC) on an annual basis to ensure that the platform is both secure and compliant. “Additionally, we leverage our core technology to offer white label sites to asset managers, helping them distribute to and service the retail market in a scalable fashion through a user experience that has been customized with their branding elements and content. Wealth managers also use iCapital’s technology and administrative services to support bespoke investment products of their own design.” As a company dedicated to innovation iCapital shows no signs of slow- ing down, as it seeks to build upon its current success and grow even further, as Lawrence explains in his concluding comments. “Moving forward, our ongoing mission is to continue democratizing al- ternative investments in ways that make sense for the industry and help meet investor demand. In the near future, we will expand our platform’s original focus on qualified purchasers ($5+ million in investable assets) by introducing offerings tailored to accredited investors ($1+ million in investable assets). Later this year we expect to introduce a direct deal network, offering access to private companies, real estate and other direct assets. “Longer term we are pursuing efforts to standardize the way alterna- tive investments are offered and processed across the industry with an eye toward improving the experience for all parties. At iCapital we are committed to supporting the interests of the wider market, and we will continue to innovate and adapt as we look towards a bright and prosperous future.” Best Outsourced Alternative Investment Platform 2017