New York City-based iCapital Network is garnering international attention. The alternative investment platform announced the closing of a $146 million capital raise, led by Hong Kong-based investor Ping An Global Voyager Fund. Ping An was joined by new investors Goldman Sachs, Affiliated Managers Group, Hamilton Lane and WestCap.
Besides the new investments, iCapital’s “long-standing strategic partner” and minority stakeholder, BlackRock, is increasing its influence and investment in the firm. Its board representation is expanding from one to three directors, according to material provided by BlackRock, and it “realized a non operating pre-tax gain of approximately $240 million” in connection with its investment. BlackRock’s recapitalization represents an expansion of the stake it established in 2016, said an iCapital spokesperson.
"The key here is that iCapital is an independent company and well-capitalized for the future with an array of supportive investors and strategic partners, such as BlackRock, Blackstone, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Hamilton Lane, Credit Suisse and more," said Lawrence Calcano, CEO of iCapital Network. "At the end of the day, we are fortunate to have an amazing line-up of respected firms behind us."
As part of the original terms of its 2016 investment, BlackRock had the option of buying all of iCapital anytime between 2018 and 2021, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Last year, however, both parties decided it would be prudent to keep iCapital “in the hands of a variety of investors with diverse views on how the business could grow.”
Ping An is representative of that new wave of investors. "We see enormous opportunities to open up access to alternatives in Asia and beyond," said Jonathan Larsen, chairman and CEO at Ping An, in a statement. iCapital has "strong partnerships with the leading wealth management players in the U.S. and, increasingly, globally."
Ping An's backing will support “continued commitment to the international marketplace,” according to the announcement. iCapital is looking for partnerships not just in North America and Europe but also in parts of Asia and the Middle East.
In 2018, iCapital Network acquired Bank of America’s alternative investment feeder fund operations. A year ago, iCapital became Morgan Stanley’s exclusive feeder fund service provider. At the time, it tallied approximately $40 billion in private fund assets. Since then it has upped its alternative asset count to more than $46 billion serviced by the firm, according to a company spokesperson.