Alternative Investment

A New UK Player Joins Private Markets Access Story

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A theme within the wealth management investment agenda over recent years has been widening access to private market assets. Here comes another player.


Private
Markets Alpha
, a new UK firm, is introducing an online
digital platform to widen access to private market assets,
continuing a trend of organisations seeking to increase
opportunities for affluent investors to tap into the space.


The business has so far raised close to £1 million ($1.16
million) through private fundraising, it said in a statement
yesterday. 


The company said it is “building a digital community of wealth
managers, asset managers and private markets fund
managers.” 


“PM Alpha’s simple ‘one-stop shop’ solution will provide clients
with access to the right products in a timely manner while
helping overcome the problem of wealth managers having to pay
very high fees, rely on cumbersome paperwork, and being cowed by
high investment minimums, to access the products their customers
need,” it said.


Recent years have seen the ascent of firms such as Moonfare
(Germany), iCapital (US), CAIS (US) and ADDX (Singapore). They
use technology to challenge traditional bank-controlled access to
private market investments. At a time when alternative
investments have offered superior yields to listed equities and
government bonds, the space has expanded rapidly.


However, these investments still tend to be open to mostly high
net worth clients, large single-family and large institutions
such as pension funds and insurers. Policymakers and regulators
such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority are looking at ways
to expand access in a risk-controlled way, not least because
there has been a secular shift to private markets since the end
of the 1990s dotcom bubble.


Team

The PM Alpha founding team has a background in private banking
and asset management distribution. Tom Douie, chief executive,
whose experience has ranged from Morgan Stanley and Neuberger
Berman to more recently serving as global head of distribution at
Muzinich & Co, is joined by former Citi Private Bank EMEA
head of private equity investments Alexis Weber; former Citi
Private Bank EMEA alternative investments sales lead Melyan
Guerrero; and former Citi Private Bank EMEA operational due
diligence lead Chloe Mercer. 


“We believe that in the current economic climate wealth managers
need to have a larger toolkit to provide better long-term
solutions to their clients and that’s what we aim to help them
achieve,” Douie said. 

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