iCapital Network1, the global financial technology platform driving access and efficiency in alternative investing for the asset and wealth management industries, today announced a series of milestones in its expansion into the European and Asian markets. On the heels of high-profile client acquisitions and rapid organic asset growth within the U.S. market over the last 18 months reaching approximately US$65bn in client assets, iCapital has expanded its reach to serve a growing international client base with heightened interest in private market investments. iCapital currently has US$8bn2 from non-U.S. investors, making it one of the largest alternative investment platforms outside the U.S.
Portfolio allocations to alternative investments such as private equity, private credit, hedge funds, and real estate among non-U.S.-based investors have grown significantly in recent years3 with projected global allocations growing by eight percent annually from 2019-20244. With the appointment of two notable industry insiders as senior executives to lead iCapital’s international growth strategy, plans for new offices spanning Europe and Asia, and the agreed-upon acquisition of a 65-person technology team in Portugal, iCapital has expanded its global foothold to deliver its best-in-breed alternative investments platform to the international wealth and asset management community.
“iCapital’s latest international investments demonstrate our commitment to bringing the opportunities of private investments to international advisors and investors and fulfilling our mission of powering the global alternative investing ecosystem,” said Lawrence Calcano, Chairman and CEO of iCapital Network. “As appetite for private market investing continues to grow, our expanding team will deliver these strategies – powered by a robust technical infrastructure – to advisors and their clients across the globe.”
Key Senior Appointments Drive International Strategy
To drive the achievement of its mission, iCapital announced the addition of two accomplished leaders with expertise in supporting the global high-net-worth (HNW) investing community. Each is uniquely qualified by their experience and relationships to support the firm’s commitment to being the global partner of choice for alternative investments technology solutions.
Based out of Zurich, Marco Bizzozero will join iCapital on December 1 as Head of International and a member of the iCapital Executive Committee, reporting to Mr. Calcano. In this newly created role, Mr. Bizzozero will spearhead iCapital’s expansion into the European and Asian markets.
An industry veteran, Mr. Bizzozero has more than 25 years of international experience in the financial industry and an impressive list of accomplishments in senior executive positions in global wealth management and private equity organizations. Mr. Bizzozero joins iCapital from UniCredit where he was CEO of Group Wealth Management and member of the Group Executive Management Committee. Previously, Mr. Bizzozero was with Deutsche Bank for 14 years, where he most recently served as Head of Wealth Management EMEA and CEO of Deutsche Bank Switzerland. Prior to assuming that role, he was the Global Head of Private Equity for the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management division, a business which was then acquired by iCapital Network in 2017. He also worked at LGT Capital Partners as Head of Private Equity Secondary Investments and UBS in a variety of roles in Investment Banking and Private Equity in Zurich, London, and New York.
“iCapital has rapidly established itself as the leading wealth tech firm and partner of choice for clients in the asset and wealth management industry seeking to increase and facilitate access to private market investments for their HNW clients. We see enormous growth opportunities in the European and Asian markets and I very much look forward to joining the iCapital team and leading the firm’s global expansion,” said Mr. Bizzozero.
Based out of London, Tom Slocock joins iCapital as Managing Director and Head of International Product Development & Origination, reporting to Mr. Bizzozero. Mr. Slocock will lead the development and launch of new investment products and manage the life cycle of existing offerings explicitly designed for the needs of the international marketplace. Mr. Slocock will bring to iCapital a career-deep understanding of the investment product needs of advisors and their high-net-worth clients in the European and Asian markets. Prior to joining iCapital, Mr. Slocock was with Deutsche Bank Wealth Management in London for more than 10 years, most recently serving as Head of the Global Funds Group and Head of the Global Investment Group. Prior to this, he was CEO of the U.K. Wealth Management business. Before joining Deutsche Bank, he was with Credit Suisse in London, most recently as Managing Director and Head of International Private Banking.
iCapital’s new international senior executive team will complement iCapital’s existing international leadership team of Vinod David Berchtold and Wes Sturdevant. Mr. Berchtold is Chief Operating Officer for the international business, based in Zurich. Prior to joining iCapital in 2018, he was most recently a senior manager at UBS Global Wealth Management within Distribution Management responsible for global revenue and business development and digital strategy focused on end-to-end sales management. Mr. Sturdevant is a Managing Director for International Enterprise Solutions, joining the firm in December 2017. He previously oversaw Deutsche Bank’s private fund product development, structuring, and investment specialist functions for wealth management clients worldwide.
“We are delighted to welcome Marco and Tom to help lead the charge on building our global alternative investments marketplace,” said Mr. Calcano. “Our clients’ success requires a world-class team that can help them scale their businesses and bring this historically hard-to-access asset class to a broader range of investors. These professionals share our unwavering commitment to bringing superior access and efficiency to the private market investing experience, with more than 50 years of collective expertise and a breadth of relationships across the international marketplace.”
Acquisition of European Technology Team Extends Best-in-Breed Offering
Earlier this month, iCapital entered into an agreement to acquire a 65-person technology team from Portugal-based product development company, Runtime Group, Ltd. As part of Runtime, this team has provided dedicated support to iCapital’s technical development since 2014. Under the agreement, these experts will join iCapital’s existing team of engineers, developers, and designers dedicated to the ongoing technological innovation of iCapital’s offerings. The transaction is expected to close 4Q2020.
The iCapital platform is built to support a global investor base and the market’s increasing requirements of privacy for client data in a secure digital environment across various currencies, regulatory environments, and languages. The platform is designed to provide an end-to-end solution supporting the lifecycle of allocations into alternative investments, including supporting investment structures and solutions tailored specifically for the international markets.
In 2018, iCapital opened its first international office in Zurich, Switzerland to bring increased access to alternative investing opportunities to the European markets. As part of its most recent acquisition, iCapital will establish an office in Lisbon, Portugal for the transitioning Runtime team. The new office in Lisbon will become iCapital’s global hub for technology development and operations. Furthermore, iCapital will open offices in London and Singapore in 1H2021 to support its recent international senior hires and growing footprint in the European and Asian regions.
Strategic Relationships Also Boost International Growth
“This is an exciting moment in iCapital’s trajectory, and we stand ready with the expertise, relationships, exceptional technology, and customized solutions to meet the needs of rapidly evolving international markets,” said Mr. Calcano. “The asset and wealth management industries have embraced the opportunities an automated and transparent approach to alternatives can offer. We are building a future where all parties across the globe benefit from the establishment of a robust, transparent, and highly efficient marketplace.”
A significant amount of iCapital’s asset growth in recent years has been driven by its circle of global strategic investors and partners which includes many of the world’s leading asset and wealth managers. Led by Hong Kong-based Ping An Global Voyager Fund, iCapital’s latest US$146 million funding round included commitments from strategic partners and investors: BlackRock, Blackstone, Goldman Sachs, Affiliated Managers Group, Hamilton Lane, WestCap, UBS, BNY Mellon and Wells Fargo. Additional existing strategic investors in iCapital include The Carlyle Group, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and Morgan Stanley Investment Management.