Baird, an international wealth management, capital markets, private equity and asset management firm, has selected CAIS as the enterprise alternative investment platform for its financial advisers.
Established in 1919, Baird has more than 3,400 associates serving the needs of individual, corporate, institutional and municipal clients, and has more than USD170 billion in client assets under management.
“The CAIS platform provides the turnkey access to high-quality alternative investment funds that Baird has been looking for,” says Dayna Kleinman (pictured), director and senior product manager for alternative investments at Baird. “Baird advisers can now turn to the CAIS platform when seeking institutional alternative investment options for clients.”
Founded in 2009, CAIS is an open-architecture alternative investment product platform offering wealth management professionals a complete end-to-end solution comprised of fund access, independent research and due diligence, execution and ongoing support. The adviser-friendly dashboard facilitates access to a menu of hedge funds, private equity funds, credit/distressed strategies and real estate funds which are all available at lower investment minimums. Upon selecting a fund, the investment experience is streamlined through the use of existing investor profiles as well as an automated subscription process and integrated custodial reporting. All funds are required to undergo independent due diligence by Mercer and summary reports and ratings are made available on the platform to all advisor members.
The total transaction volume on the CAIS platform since inception has grown to more than USD4.5 billion.
“Our mission is to offer a platform that empowers all advisors to deliver value to their clients, compete for new business and recruit new advisors,” says Brad Walker, CAIS managing director and head of alternative investments. “To that end, we are pleased that the CAIS platform can accommodate the custom needs of Baird’s advisers.”
CAIS’s fintech platform enables wealth management firms to enjoy direct integration between their enterprise portals and the CAIS platform, allowing their advisers to access CAIS as easily as their employee benefits information. Similar integrations with major wealth management custodians and reporting platforms offer advisers the ease of use they seek when engaging with the multiple systems they rely upon to serve their clients. CAIS currently has approximately 600 unique advisers/firms transacting on the platform, and several thousand more approved to transact.
The growth in CAIS’s transaction volume is mirrored by the diversity of firms now using the platform across the spectrum of registered investment advisers (RIAs) and independent broker-dealers (IBDs). The first quarter of 2017 broke several records for CAIS, including the largest number of both first-time and aggregate unique adviser/firms purchasing a fund or product in a single quarter.
“Expanding our network of advisors benefits all CAIS members, as it allows us to attract top-tier funds, improve our technology platform and enhance the overall adviser experience,” says Matt Brown, CAIS founder and CEO. “Advisers are adopting the CAIS platform and initiating transactions at the fastest rate since our inception. It’s clear that the flywheel effect is kicking in.”