The WealthForge team recently caught up with Jay Frank, Chief Operating Officer at Cantor Fitzgerald Investment Management, to get his perspective on the importance of using technology to streamline the outdated alts investment process and the impact that Altigo has had on his business since being the first sponsor to adopt the platform mid-2019.
TWO YEARS AGO, WHAT INDUSTRY TRENDS DID CANTOR FITZGERALD RECOGNIZE WHEN IT CAME TO ALTS?
The alternative investment industry has been slow to evolve partly due to conflicting and archaic regulatory oversight combined with old-fashioned complacency. As with any industry, if you can make it easier to do something with an elevated user experience, demand will grow. We believed the shift toward electronic and straight-through-processing would help differentiate our business and elevate our value proposition to financial advisors, wealth management firms, and investors.
WHAT CHALLENGES DID CANTOR FITZGERALD FACE WITH SUBSCRIPTIONS BEFORE ALTIGO?
Processing business with checks, apps and the postal service is a proven recipe for slow, expensive, and incomplete subscriptions. The user experience from investor to advisor to sponsor becomes an objection versus a selling point.
WHAT LED CANTOR’S DECISION TO WORK WITH ALTIGO?
We decided against creating our own platform recognizing that an industry-wide solution accepted by a majority of industry participants would be paramount to long term adoption—while a sponsor-owned solution would be accompanied with significant resistance. After extensive due diligence, we selected Altigo while still in early stages of development given their team’s in-depth understanding of wealth management, security, operations, transfer agents, clearing and the alternative investment industry. We are proud to be the first among nearly 50 sponsors on the Altigo platform.
WHAT RESULTS HAS CANTOR SEEN AFTER ADOPTING ALTIGO AS THEIR ELECTRONIC PROCESSING PLATFORM?
The direct feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from our clients and our team. Applications that used to take two weeks are now processed in a few days, sometimes in a few hours. Advisors that might have only recommended our solutions to a handful of clients now entertain a wider audience given the ease, safety and scalability of the technology, all built with the financial advisor in mind.
WHAT’S UP NEXT FOR CANTOR WITH ALTIGO?
We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the advisors utilizing Altigo to process Cantor Fitzgerald applications. Our focus going forward is to help introduce Altigo to all of our clients. While this seems like common sense, adoption is slow due to a number of factors we are trying to help address.
We look forward to the network effect resulting from wide market adoption. Altigo and Altigo Marketplace should enjoy utility status across the RIA and Broker Dealer channels. While late to the party, the alts investment process has finally entered the 21st century.
ABOUT CANTOR FITZGERALD
Cantor Fitzgerald L.P., with over 12,500 employees, is a leading global financial services firm at the forefront of financial and technological innovation and has been a proven and resilient leader for over 75 years. Cantor Fitzgerald is a preeminent investment bank serving more than 5,000 institutional clients around the world, recognized for its strengths in fixed income and equity capital markets, investment banking, prime brokerage, and commercial real estate. Cantor Fitzgerald is one of the 24 primary dealers authorized to transact business with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
*This testimonial reflects this clients’ historical experiences with WealthForge’s technology and may not be representative of the experiences of all clients or with other services. Testimonials are not a guarantee of future performance or success.
Disclaimer: WealthForge provides this information for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice.