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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fido's Haggerty Wants Everybody to Get Alts

Reported by Katie Lobosco

Fidelity [profile] has partnered with CAIS, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Morningstar to create a new platform reportedly providing advisors with access to alternative investment products.

“This platform was built on insights from our clients regarding the challenges they face incorporating alternative investments into their clients’ portfolios,” said Mark Haggerty, head of Fidelity Institutional’s product group.

Through the new platform, financial advisors and family office professionals will also get access to hedge funds, private equity funds, '40 Act mutual funds, as well as research and education.

Here is the press release:
Company Press Release

Fidelity Launches Alternative Investments Platform to Provide Clients with Greater Access to These Products

New Platform Offers Research, Education and Due Diligence

BOSTON--Fidelity Institutional -- the division of Fidelity Investments® that provides clearing, custody and investment management products to registered investment advisors, broker-dealers, family offices and banks -- today announced the launch of a new comprehensive and streamlined solution for accessing alternative investments. Fidelity’s platform will provide research, education and third-party due diligence, as well as access to a wide range of alternative investment products for all Fidelity Institutional clients.

Fidelity is already a leading provider of custodial services for alternative products. Through this new platform, financial advisors and family office professionals will now have access to a variety of alternative investment products, including hedge funds, private equity funds and ’40 Act mutual funds. Fidelity’s platform will also provide access to research and third-party due diligence reports through strategic alliances with leaders in the space -- including CAIS, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) and Morningstar –- distinguishing it from other firms that only offer access to alternative products. In addition, through Fidelity’s Alternative Investments Network, financial advisors and family office professionals will have access to a list of alternative investment funds from third-party sponsors with reduced custody fees.

“This platform was built on insights from our clients regarding the challenges they face incorporating alternative investments into their clients’ portfolios1,” said Mark Haggerty, head of Fidelity Institutional’s product group. “Delivering access to leading products was a priority, but we also invested in providing institutional-quality third-party due diligence, insights and education and a simplified and consistent pricing structure. These features will be critically important to helping our clients effectively leverage this investment strategy2.”

In addition to the insights and education provided on the platform, Fidelity will conduct several in-depth, in-person Alternative Investment Forums to keep clients up to date on the changing landscape of alternative investments. Fidelity’s strategic alliances with CAIS, GSAM, and Morningstar will also provide financial advisors and family office professionals with research and education on alternative investments:

• CAIS will provide access to a centralized and diverse menu of leading hedge funds at reduced minimums, independent third-party due diligence and monitoring provided by Mercer, portfolio construction tools and an automated electronic subscription process.

• GSAM’s Alternative Investments & Manager Selection (AIMS) Group will provide access to portfolios of leading external hedge fund and private equity managers across various alternative investment strategies, utilizing its rigorous process of selecting managers, constructing portfolios and managing risk. Additionally, GSAM will offer alternative investment thought leadership through the platform.

• Fidelity’s platform will offer an advisor education center powered by Morningstar, Inc. and provide analyst insights on how and when advisors and their clients might want to use alternatives in their portfolios, comprehensive market research to help assess alternative asset categories and information on market trends. Morningstar Associates, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of Morningstar, Inc., will provide a select list of alternative mutual funds to advisors.

Fidelity will continue to offer comprehensive services for financial advisors and family office professionals using the platform, including aggregated reporting, custody, trading, clearing and execution. In addition to a continued investment in the DTCC AIP platform3, Fidelity plans to offer seamless integrations into the WealthCentral and Streetscape platforms with CAIS, GSAM and Morningstar. Together, these services and features will provide financial advisors and family office professionals with greater accessibility to alternative investments and a streamlined process for incorporating them into clients’ portfolios. 

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