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BlackRock to invest in iCapital Network

BlackRock is to lead the next funding round in iCapital Network, a financial technology platform focused on democratising access to alternative investments for high-net-worth investors and their financial advisers.

Frank Porcelli, chairman of BlackRock’s US wealth advisory business, is to join iCapital’s board of directors and will work closely with the organisation as a strategic adviser. 
Individual investors remain significantly under-allocated to alternative investments relative to institutional investors, but are increasingly exploring the critical role alternatives can play in state-of-the-art portfolio construction. iCapital’s online platform facilitates access to private investment opportunities through an independent origination and due diligence process that prioritises quality offerings from an array of top managers, and provides an end-to-end technology solution automating the unique subscription, administration and reporting processes of alternative investments.
“We are building the largest independent digital alternative investments platform in the industry. In BlackRock, we have an investor who understands the importance of technology’s role in the wealth management ecosystem,” says Lawrence Calcano (pictured), chief executive officer of iCapital Network. “BlackRock’s decision to lead our next round of funding validates the steps we’ve taken thus far and gives us a springboard to scale the platform for future growth.”
iCapital has surpassed USD2 billion in subscriptions from approximately 3,000 investors across more than 40 private offerings since the public launch of its platform two years ago. Its member network has expanded to include more than 1,300 users from RIA firms, private banks, independent broker-dealers, family offices and other sophisticated advisory organisations that collectively oversee more than USD1.7 trillion in investable client assets.
“Based on our experience, as well as dialogue with our distribution partners, iCapital Network’s open-architecture alternatives platform solves a critical problem for high-net-worth investors and their advisers,” says Porcelli. “iCapital’s combination of due diligence capabilities, technology and relationships with alternative asset managers seamlessly facilitates investments in hedge funds and private equity funds, including BlackRock Alternative Investors.” 
Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

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