Templum: Tradable alternative assets, what does the future hold?

Templum joined industry veterans at this year’s STANY Annual Conference to lend expertise and insights to the conference panel covering all things alts.

From private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, managed futures, art and antiques, commodities, and real estate, Raj Iyer, Chief Product Officer at Templum shares his key takeaways from the session and conference conversations.

Q: How do you think the definition of alternative assets has changed?

A: Alternatives can cover a broad range of assets investment or hedging products not readily available or easily accessible, such as stocks or bonds. This includes real estate, private equity and debt, music rights, collectibles, artwork, etc. As this space continues to grow – there are more types of alternatives products being developed, broadening the availability of investments, so the space is getting larger and more expansive. 

Q: Where do you see the alternative asset market going?

A: Alternatives will become more readily available and more liquid. The list of assets that people will be able to access will grow significantly, making them more accessible than ever. At the end of the day, the globalization of markets and the introduction of new ideas and technologies always bring new opportunities. This is what makes the world of alternatives so exciting because many of these new opportunities are almost always framed in the language of alternative investments. Of course, that introduces new challenges and puts a spotlight on existing challenges too. 

Q: What are the roadblocks to alternatives being mainstream? What potential challenges do you see?

A: Right now, the infrastructure for alternatives – meaning access, connectivity, and data – is very fragmented. The technology is siloed, it isn’t integrated. This is both across assets, instruments, and markets and across the investment lifecycle. Improving connectivity will make this space, from issuers to investors, from primary issuance to secondary trading and settlement, to banks, brokers, and custodians. Developing data will also help provide a better understanding of the markets. Specifically for alts participants to truly compete and engage in this market, they will need to leverage purpose-built trading platforms and infrastructure solutions. They need a true alts ecosystem, delivering a single access point for investment platforms, fintech platforms, and wealth allocators to source alternative investments for the end investor across multiple alternative asset categories, in both the primary and secondary markets, through a single SEC-regulated brokerage or advisory account.

Q: What was the most interesting takeaway from the session?

A: I learned a lot from my fellow panelists, Dan Sanders, President and Head of Private Markets, InvestX Markets and Will Powers, CEO & Head of Capital Markets, AKRU, and how they are developing fractionalized and tokenized products in Private Equity and Real Estate. Their insights into how markets are developing and the enormous potential for alts growth align with what we see here at Templum from our clients and the market. It was also incredible to see the interest in alternatives from the financial community and attendees at STANY are still a new and growing area that implements the services traditional brokers, banks, and service providers support for their clients today.

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