With the arrival of the pandemic, 2020 brought a substantial shift in the way business is conducted. Firms that allocate to alts had figure out a new way to get paper-based subscription documents to clients for signature, then routed from there to the other parties involved. This ushered in a sweeping change in the alts industry—electronic processing for alternative investments went from a nice to have, to a necessity.
Our alternative investment platform, Altigo, has enabled sponsors, reps and advisors to continue to conduct their alts business electronically in today's remote work environment. Being well-positioned to meet the growing need for paperless solutions in alternative investments, Altigo experienced tremendous growth throughout the year. First announced in mid-2019, $200 million in transactions representing 600 subscriptions have been submitted through the platform. Altigo currently supports nearly 100 offerings spanning a range of alternative investment products—such as 1031 Exchange DSTs, Non-Traded REITs, Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds, and BDCs— with 40 new offerings added to the platform just last quarter.
The alternative investment offerings available on Altigo represent 50 well-known sponsors including Inland, Bluerock, Cantor Fitzgerald, Capital Square, Greenbacker, and more. While Altigo began with alternative product sponsors in mind, the platform matured over the past year to include a robust feature set designed specifically for BD firms. Most notably, broker-dealers can now provide reps with access to all firm-approved offerings in one place, which facilitates increased rep productivity and compliance control. This ease of use has attracted seven new broker-dealers to the platform this year, including Coastal Equities, Colorado Financial Services, Emerson Equity, Great Point Capital and Lightpath Capital.
2020 also brought the launch of Altigo Marketplace, which reinvents the way registered investment advisors conduct the discovery of and allocation to alternative investments by modernizing the industry’s outdated, cumbersome paper-based processes. Altigo offers advisors a showcase of investments, allowing them to identify the best opportunities for their clients. Once an advisor has selected an investment, Altigo streamlines the subscription process with an online intelligent interview, electronic signature options, and a transaction activity dashboard for tracking of investments in progress. These features create productivity and cost savings that can equate to a full-time employee.
Altigo’s success and high rate of both sponsor and advisor adoption is due to the meaningful results it provides. The platform reduces NIGO (not-in-good-order) error rates from 30-60 percent down to a mere 4 percent and boasts investment cycle-times of 2 days, compared to approximately 3 weeks on average using paper processes.
In addition to Marketplace, Altigo continues to roll out new features and integrations. We recently announced the automation of custodian forms including Pershing, RBC Wealth Management, Equity Trust Company, Mainstar Trust, Millennium Trust, NuView Trust, Vantage, and CNB Custody, with support for more custodians coming soon. With this feature, reps and advisors select the investment, client, and custodian during the online order entry process, which automatically pulls in required forms such as letters of authorization or direction of investment in addition to the standard subscription agreement and home office-required documents. These forms are pre-populated with information collected during order entry and compiled into a single subscription package that is automatically sent to clients for electronic signature and to the custodian, sponsor, and financial services firm for completion.
Altigo’s growth is poised to continue in 2021 with even more features coming soon. In January, we will be releasing a new feature that allows Altigo to be customized with fields reflecting your unique firm forms, resulting in a fully completed package and single signing experience. Redtail integration will be added, which will help speed up the data entry process for reps and advisors by populating data directly from their CRM. We’ll also be rolling out Knowledge-Based Authentication, which allows reps and advisors to confirm investor identity by having them answer questions only they would know. Also on the docket for early 2021 is integration with AI Insight to ensure rep training is complete. The remainder of the year will see integrations with additional custodians, clearing firms, transfer agents and fund admins as well as more Marketplace product discovery and comparison features.
We are grateful to emerge from 2020 stronger than before, with a growing list of sponsors, broker-dealers and RIAs adopting Altigo as the platform to conduct their alts business.
Interested in learning more about how Altigo can help your business? Contact us today.
Disclaimer: WealthForge provides this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice.