Millennium Trust Company, which custodies about $16.8 billion in assets, is launching a new platform to make it easier for its 1,000 registered investment advisors to access alternative investments.
The Millennium Alternative Investment Network (MAIN) gives advisors custodied with Millennium access to four alternative investment platforms from a single location for no additional cost. Advisors can use MAIN to research, select an investment, complete documents, open an account and add funds entirely online.
In a statement, CEO of Millennium Trust Scott McCartan said MAIN is made for advisors and individual investors looking to hold alternative investments within either IRAs or taxable custody accounts that they may not have previously been aware of.
“We’ve also learned from the fintech industry’s laser-focus on the user experience,” McCartan said. “Investing in alternatives has historically been a cumbersome, paper-centric process and we are committed to using technology to change that.”
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, an increasing number of investors are looking to alternatives as a way to diversify their portfolios beyond the traditional 60/40 stock and bond models. The firm recently reported that it expects alternative assets to grow to $15.3 trillion by 2020.
Matt Nitschke, Millennium’s managing director of alternative solutions, said there a lot of reasons for the rise of alternatives, but at the center is an increased understanding of how alternatives can mitigate risk and create additional yield.
“You’ve seen it in the institutional space and in endowments for a long time, and I think that with greater access to information and education… the channel has really grown,” Nitschke said. “Now advisors are using the endowment model in varying degrees across the board.”
Nitschke added that he hopes MAIN will make it easier for some of the smaller advisory firms that work with Millennium to compete against larger firms.
At launch, MAIN will integrate with PeerRealty and Money360, two platforms that focus on P2P lending for real estate loans; StreetShares, a private equity platform; and FNEX, a multi-strategy platform that provides access to these asset classes as well as hedge funds and futures.
Advisors will still be able to access the alternative investment platforms directly if they prefer and have relationships with platforms outside of the MAIN network. Nitschke said Millennium would integrate with additional platforms to offer increased access to private equity, marketplace lending and peer-to-peer lending.