In Ohio, A Data Shop Helps FAs Navigate Liquid Alts
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Friday, August 10, 2018

In Ohio, A Data Shop Helps FAs Navigate Liquid Alts

Drawing on previous expertise with complex investments, the Worthington-Ohio based data firm AI Insight, is launching a new platform for alternative mutual funds. The platform attempts to better educate advisors while helping them more easily find and recommend products.

"I think its difficult for advisors to understand what's available to them and to manage this universe and search for a solution that might fit their clients needs." says Lou Johnson, alternative investment analyst for AI insight.

Mike Kell, vice president of program management and business development at Ai Insight, points out that FINRA maintains the same requirements for complex investments as it does for complex investments within a '40 Act wrapper.

"FINRA is very clear that they look at, regardless of the wrapper and the liquidity features of a particular investment, if it's truly complex, it falls within their guidance on complex products," says Kell. "We think it's important for advisors to truly understand what's going on within the '40 act wrapper, the actual strategy, and whats actually being invested in versus what they're saying."

The research portal will offer a plethora of data on the funds available, both quantitative and qualitative. This data will be used to create a peer group system, allowing advisors to more easily find the products they need, and compare similar products. The data will be presented along with an executive summery of the product (around 4-5 pages), which will highlight and breakdown the important aspects of the product.

"We think alone just providing insight on things like peer group, category, strategy and then elaborating on investment objective and providing a portfolio summery, these kinds of items can be very helpful on the surface and just helping an advisor decide what to look at, and how to break down the universe," says Johnson.

Everything an advisor does on the platform will be logged for compliance purposes, and advisors will be able to make client-friendly printouts, to easily recommend products they found, compared, and vetted within the platform.

After a period of internal testing in late August, the platform will be available to Ai Insight customers in early September as a free trial period until the hard-launch date in early October.

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