A "gap in the market"
CAIS identified that only the biggest institutions - such as the global private banks - had the platforms required to invest in alternative products, as building and running a platform is expensive.
The firm therefore wants to level the playing field between the big private banks, wirehouses and the “everybody else group,” so that all advisors - regardless of the institution or size of their firm - have the same access to a “qualified menu of alternative investments.”
“The big banks were using their platform as a competitive tool, as a competitive offering,” Brown explains. “But unless you work for one of the large institutions, and let’s say you were an IFA, IRA, mid-size private bank or wirehouse, you didn’t have the same product line because you didn’t work for an institution that spent the money to build the platform, so you are immediately at a disadvantage.”
However, all of the funds on the CAIS platform have investment minimums of $100,000, as opposed to, say, $5 million or $10 million. This enables advisors to connect to, for example, ten alternative investment funds for $1 million of investable capital – an amount which otherwise wouldn’t get them entrance into one fund.