Morgan Stanley to boost alts for HNWIs

The bank’s investment management arm has backed alternative investment platform iCapital Network for an undisclosed sum.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management has backed alternative investment technology platform iCapital Network, which gives high-net-worth clients access to private equity investments.

MSIM did not reveal how much it committed to the platform, which will be used to automate private fund operations for clients and their advisors.

Dan Simkowitz, head of MSIM, said his firm aims to address the lack of alternative investments in its high-net-worth clients’ portfolios.

“Many high-net-worth investors, in our view, are under-allocated to alternatives relative to their institutional counterparts. Endowments and pension funds have long embraced alternatives as an important component of their overall investment programs,” he said.

“iCapital’s technology and investment platform successfully removes many of the operational impediments that high-net-worth investors face when seeking to increase their commitments to these strategies.”

The alternative investment platform has received a total of $50 million in funding from three investors, including this latest investment. BlackRock made an undisclosed commitment to the platform in December 2016. Last week, UBS Wealth Management Americas announced it had also invested in the business.

iCapital has more than $2.25 billion in private fund subscriptions invested across more than 45 funds, with an investor network of more than 1,800 registered entities.