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iCapital to Acquire SIMON Markets

The deal will create an alternative investment powerhouse in terms of breadth and depth of technology for financial advisors.

Alternative investing platform iCapital announced Wednesday it will acquire competing platform SIMON Markets, a Goldman Sachs spinoff. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SIMON integrates more than 50 investment managers of structured products and annuities with more than 50 wealth managers that include some of the largest independent broker/dealers, RIAs and banks. The acquisition will expand iCapital’s investment menu and augment its technical capabilities, as well as its education material and support services for wealth managers.

“The acquisition is a very big deal because it brings iCapital closer to its founders’ vision of a one-stop shop for private investments, including nonsecurities investments like annuities and crypto, where SIMON Markets has been active,” said William Trout, director of wealth management at Javelin Strategy & Research.

Technology, both for the advisor and the end investor, will be the lens through which this vision is realized, he said.

Under the agreement, SIMON CEO Jason Broder will join iCapital as managing director and head of iCapital Solutions and will join the firm’s operating committee. He will oversee the integration of the two firms’ platforms, as well as market development and sales. iCapital will also extend employment offers to SIMON’s approximately 200 team members.

In November, SIMON announced a partnership with +Subscribe, meant to provide independent advisors with a marketplace for managing all their alternative investment fund activities on a single platform, from structured products and annuities to investments in hedge funds, private equity, venture capital and real estate funds.

In July, SIMON secured up to $100 million in a financing round led by growth equity firm WestCap, raising its valuation to $800 million, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

iCapital, which was founded in 2013, facilitates more than $115 billion in client assets across some 970 funds. The firm's stated mission is to remove the friction from investing in alternative assets for financial advisors, making the transaction and administration comparable to buying a mutual fund.

“iCapital ultimately will seek to provide access to these investments, and the ability to track and view them, through a unified portal,” said Javelin’s Trout.

“The objective will be to deliver a whole-portfolio view and enable the kind of transparency and risk management capabilities that exist in the public markets,” he said.

Last July, iCapital announced it had raised $440 million from an international cohort of new and returning investors, valuing the firm at $4 billion.

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