Kingswood U.S., a network of two RIAs and two broker/dealers, has rolled out access to alternative investments for all of its 170 advisors, powered by WealthForge’s subscription-based electronic trade processing platform, Altigo, the company announced Tuesday.
“The alternative space has been—up until now—inefficient in the processing, in the transparency of products, in the education, and Altigo really addresses those three things in a strong manner,” said Kingswood U.S. CEO Derek Bruton.
The document-heavy nature of the transactions, in particular, is one pain point associated with alternatives; advisors often have to deal with not-in-good-order (NIGO) errors and delays. Altigo automates the paperwork process, Bruton said, and integrates the suscription process into an advisory firm's operational workflow.
The new platform, available to all Kingswood advisors free-of-charge, will also include a list of all the firm’s approved alternative investments in one place. That list, which includes both commission- and fee-based products, includes such products as real estate, private placements, hedge funds, BDC-type products and Opportunity Zones.
“In this environment where interest rates are right now, clients are searching for yield, and they’re not finding it in the Treasury; they’re not finding it in banking products,” Bruton said.
Bruton acknowledges that these products aren’t for everyone, and he estimates that less than 20% of the firm’s $2.1 billion in client assets are in alternatives.
But the tool will help the firm’s corporate compliance department monitor the investments, make sure they’re being used in the appropriate client accounts and more efficiently put guard rails in place.
“Having everything in one place on one technology platform not only gives the advisor plenty of tools to manage their clients and manage the paperwork process and the onboarding, but it also gives the broker/dealer and the RIA—Kingswood—the opportunity to measure each step of the process on the onboarding at a corporate level, as well,” Bruton said. “That drives up our efficiency; it helps us identify where there could be cogs in the process that we can address right away. And it also helps us from a compliance department to see which advisors are doing what and for what types of clients.”