PFI Advisors Releases New Industry Report: “The Rise of Alternative Investments in the RIA Industry”

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Report highlights alternative investment solutions for the independent channel; Features industry-leading service providers to RIAs, Family Offices and Breakaway Advisors

Coinciding with the success of the RIA industry, new alternative investment solutions - purpose-built specifically for independent RIAs - are thriving.

PFI Advisors (“Pure Financial Independence”) announced today the release of a new industry report on one of the key opportunities for independent advisors to offer sophisticated alternative investment solutions to their clients.

As one of the more complex and opaque investment processes, many advisors working in the wirehouses have thought that only Wall Street firms had access to alternative investments, limiting their choice and access if they were to transition to an independent business model. However, coinciding with the success of the RIA industry, new alternative investment solutions - purpose-built specifically for independent RIAs - are thriving.

The report, “The Rise of Alternative Investments in the RIA Industry,” identifies some of the top solutions now available for independent advisors to provide enhanced investment management services to their high net worth clients. New technology and distribution innovation from leading financial institutions and technology platforms such as Artivest, CAIS, iCapital Network, PPB Capital Partners and Republic Capital Group are profiled in the white paper -- offering advanced technology, due diligence, turnkey research and lower investment minimums to make it as easy and convenient, if not more so, for breakaway advisors to invest their client assets in alternatives than at their former employer.

According to the report, “As the RIA industry continues to grow and evolve, more sophisticated approaches are now becoming commonplace, such as the use of alternative investments. With rapid advancements in technology, transparency and innovative business models, a new category of alternative investment provider is emerging in the RIA space that removes many of the barriers to getting started for RIAs.”

“One of the top concerns we hear from advisors considering Independence is their fear of not having access to the sophisticated, products they used at their former wirehouse employer,” said Matt Sonnen, Founder and CEO of PFI Advisors and author of the report. “The reality is exactly the opposite – independent RIAs actually have more choice and flexibility for their clients due to their open architecture and ability to access high quality alternative solutions from the many new, innovative platforms now available in the rapidly growing RIA space.”

The report suggests the notion that, “Independence cannot support complex, sophisticated advisors and their clients,” is being torn down as billion-dollar teams continue to launch RIAs to great success. A key example is the expansion of choice for independent advisors in their ability to access and deploy alternative investment solutions for their clients.

The report profiles five leading financial institutions and technology platforms and their strategies for helping advisors efficiently invest in alternative solutions:

  • Artivest – A technology platform that digitizes private equity and hedge fund investing for the high net worth channel
  • CAIS – A leading open architecture financial product platform offering independent wealth management firms access to a diversified menu of alternative investment funds
  • iCapital Network – A financial technology platform that provides modular alternative investment solutions for RIAs, Private Banks, Family Offices and other sophisticated investors
  • PPB Capital Partners – A platform that builds institutional-quality, turnkey fund structures for wealth managers, fund managers, and sophisticated investors seeking a cost-efficient way to invest in alternatives
  • Republic Capital Group – An investment banking services firm that specializes in the RIA community serving RIA firms and Family Offices with private investments and M&A.

“Our experience as consultants to breakaway advisors has shown us that there still exists misperceptions regarding the fundamental opportunities in the independent RIA space, propagated by the wirehouses bent on retaining their top advisors,” said Sonnen. “As part of our mission to shine a bright light on these issues, we will continue to publish thought leadership content to better educate the industry and showcase the top innovative solutions available to help advisors make better decisions for the future of their business. Accordingly, we would like to thank Artivest, CAIS, iCapital Network, PPB Capital Partners and Republic Capital Group for sharing their insight and expertise.”

To read the full report, log onto

About PFI Advisors

“Pure Financial Independence.”

PFI Advisors (“Pure Financial Independence”) was founded in 2015 and remains focused on our mission: “To further evolve the RIA industry from a collection of practices to businesses, and to be a continued voice in validating the industry as a legitimate landing spot for billion-dollar teams and their clients.” PFI Advisors is pioneering an operational consulting service that supports the unique back office, technology and operational needs of RIAs in growth mode. The firm conducts Technology Assessments, manages Technology Conversions and provides M&A Preparation and Integration Services. For breakaway advisors, PFI Advisors manages full RIA set up and transition to Independence, including office buildout, RIA infrastructure, client transition, and billing services, all for a simple consulting fee. There is no complicated, long-term AUM fee structure or equity stake required to build the firm’s future and provide advisors Pure Financial Independence.

About Matt Sonnen
Prior to founding PFI Advisors, Matt Sonnen learned the ins and outs of the wirehouse model at Merrill Lynch in the late '90s. After leaving Merrill in 2005, he was introduced to the RIA marketplace a few years later when he helped build the infrastructure for Luminous Capital prior to their founding in 2008. As COO and CCO at Luminous, he navigated the technology and compliance challenges as the firm grew from $1.7 billion in assets to nearly $6 billion in less than five years. Luminous Capital sold to First Republic Bank for more than $100 million in 2012, after which Matt headed to Focus Financial Partners in New York City. There, he helped breakaway teams and recently-formed RIAs develop strategic initiatives to benefit from best practices, streamline operations, and improve efficiency before heading back to California to launch PFI Advisors with his wife and business partner.

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