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CAIS, Nitrogen Events Highlight Growth Strategies

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The action today in wealth management is in the alternative investing space. Case in point: The  CAIS Alternative Investment Summit recently held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.

Tripling in size from the 2022 gathering, the 2023 summit featured over 1,000 independent advisors and asset managers. They gathered in mid-October to learn about the latest investing strategies and techniques to find new ways to deliver performance to client portfolios.

That’s particularly relevant now that equity and bond markets are becoming increasingly correlated during inflationary periods, making the need for diversified portfolios more important than ever.

“We believe the future portfolios will move away from the traditional 60% stocks and 40% bonds to a more modern approach of 50% stocks, 30% bonds and 20% alts,” Matt Brown, CAIS founder and CEO, said in his opening remarks.  “The growth in alternatives boils down to advisor demand, asset manager innovation and new ways to leverage technology to remove the friction from the entire process of creating and managing diversified portfolios.”

CAIS has been a leader in alternatives — recently raising $100 million from Reverence Capital Partners, valuing the firm at over $1 billion — and is focusing on the independent advisor channel with a vision to “transform the world of alternate investing.”

Brown detailed that his predicted increase in advisor demand for alternatives is being driven by better risk-adjusted returns and the ability to gather more assets from existing clients, as well as attracting high-net-worth investors looking for more than just a vanilla portfolio to meet more complex needs.

As part of a renewed focus to level the playing field against the wirehouse firms, CAIS announced the launch of CAIS Solutions, a new software-as-a-service technology platform that aims to  centralize and streamline alternative investment funds, no matter where advisors or home-office representatives source them.

This strategy could significantly increase the universe of alternatives available to advisors via CAIS, the firm says.

The CAIS Summit also featured high-profile keynotes from financier Michael Milken, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former AOL CEO Steve Case and actor Rob Lowe. Spearheaded by Abby Salameh, CAIS’ chief marketing officer, the summit stood out on the conference circuit as an event that captured the excitement, growth and momentum in the alternative investing space.

Fearless Investing Summit

Earlier in October, Nitrogen (the former Riskalyze) hosted a large industry event in Miami — the Fearless Investing Summit.

Fresh off a rebrand to better reflect the identity, capabilities and technology to become a “growth platform,” Nitrogen also brought a large crowd together to learn the latest technology trends, developments and new enhancements to the popular Nitrogen platform.

Kicking off the event was Nitrogen CEO Aaron Klein, who shared an update on the new investments that Nitrogen was making along with his view that artificial intelligence in wealth management was at an “exciting inflection point.”

Generative AI is starting to power a massive revolution,” he said, “that will allow advisors to work a fifth of the time, go five times deeper with their clients, become five times as profitable, or dramatically lower their minimums to exponentially multiply the number of people who can access their advice.”

Growth was a key theme across the summit, with a number of panels, discussions and breakouts on helping advisors rediscover their marketing muscles and find new ways to leverage the digital marketing tools and techniques integrated into the Nitrogen platform.

Mary Kate Gulick, executive vice president of marketing at FiComm Partners, explained how advisors can take advantage of the SEC’s new marketing rule to allow for client testimonials.

“The irony here is that at this point, everyone has to adhere to the rule anyway, yet only 11% are actually using testimonials,” she said. “Advisory firms are doing all of the work to comply, so it is a huge missed opportunity to not be using them.” 

Gulick provided some simple yet highly actionable ideas to gather testimonials without it seeming like it was asking for a favor from clients.

“Rather, make it part of the client experience,” she explained.  “Your clients selected you for a reason, so during signing ceremonies or annual reviews, simply ask them why they picked you. Often what they say instantly becomes a very powerful testimonial you can use, without the experience feeling like it was a courtesy you are asking for.”

The Fearless Investing Summit also featured Joe Lonsdale, founder of tech giants Palantir and Addepar. Lonsdale’s fireside chat with Klein was fascinating to listen to as he described himself as an “American optimist,” believing that if we apply our collective brain power and collaborate across political divides, we can solve any problem.

Backed by a recent $145 million capital raise, Lonsdale’s next tech venture is Opto, which takes a new approach to integrating alternative investments a theme linking the CAIS and Nitrogen October events.


Timothy D. Welsh, CFP, is president, CEO and founder of Nexus Strategy, LLC, a leading consulting firm to the wealth management industry. He can be reached at [email protected] or on X @NexusStrategy.



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