Archive for June, 2017

Mercury Capital Advisors Is Using Fintech To Critically Improve Investment Alternatives

Posted by Muhammad Ibrahim Masudi

The Company:

Mercury Capital Advisors is the one of the largest global institutional alternatives placement agencies in the world. It has raised more than $160 billion over the past 12 years working in the most financially relevant cities on the globe, including New York, Dubai, and London. The company has relationships with a wide spectrum of leading institutional investors, such as corporate and public pension funds, insurance companies, and endowments.

The Pitch:

At the 2017 Benzinga Global Fintech Awards, George Lucaci, a partner and senior advisor at Mercury Capital Investments, introduced the Mercury iFunds platform. Mercury iFunds is an end-to-end solution that offers high-end authorized investors access to the company’s aggregated alternative investments.

Mercury iFunds has a public side and a private side. The public side is purely informational, and the private side is much more advanced, requiring users to go through a firewall before accessing its features.

At the event, Lucaci described what a typical user of the private Mercury iFunds sees.

“[Once somebody passes through the firewall] they can see a video, summary track record, fund terms, market presentations, due diligence, questionnaire, investment analytics, IRA access, and you can follow on ‘my watch lists’ if that’s a fund you want to follow,” Lucaci said. “It’s all perfectly digitally made.”

Mercury iFunds will be rolled out globally in 2018.

The Future:

Mercury Capital Advisors is an already-successful company that is using fintech to expand its high end informational platform.

“The Mercury iFunds platform does result in a better experience by taking advantage of new technologies to cut costs and dramatically improve education, which is critically for people for investing alternatives, and transparency, which is something that is often criticized in our community, for the investor and alternative investing space,” Lucaci said.

Watch a video of Mercury Capital Advisors demo here.


Making a Perfect Match

Posted by Muhammad Ibrahim Masudi

The private funds industry may have become increasingly regulated and institutionalized, but the one constant is the importance of relationships. There’s no doubt having the right connections, or being able to create them, remains critical to success.

In this month’s investor relations special we look at how to keep limited partners happy from a number of different
angles. We asked two first-time fund managers who recently closed their vehicles above target how they convinced investors to take a chance on them (p. 24). We also discuss the changing nature of the sales pitch with industry insiders (p.28).

Technology also has its part to play. As demand for data swells, GPs are increasingly turning to reporting software
to keep investors happy. We look at the benefits, and the drawbacks, to embracing these solutions (p. 36).

Elsewhere, we zone in on administration. The role of the chief financial officer has been evolving for a long time and now some are even getting involved in deals. Juggling an ever-increasing workload has resulted in more CFOs turning to third-party service providers to complete some of their less core duties. We caught up with a CFO and a few fund administrators to find out how the dynamic between the two has changed over the past couple of years (p. 12).

Sticking with that theme, we look at how fund administrators themselves are adapting to their changing workload. The demands of today’s back office bear little resemblance to those of the pre-crisis days. The complexity of running a private equity firm and its funds has increased exponentially. We spoke with a number of service providers to find out how they were dealing with changing client demands (p. 18).

Cybersecurity has been on regulators’ radars for a few years, but with less than a year to go until firms must comply with one of the most far-reaching pieces of legislation to date, the General Data Protection Regulation, there’s never been a better time for firms to get their houses in order. More than half of delegates at a recent Thomson Reuters event in London said they were only 25 percent ready for the regulation’s entry into force. Lawyers
highlighted the importance of starting immediately, so find out what your firm can do to get ready for compliance with the legislation (p. 16).

Also this month, we look at the new UK limited partnership rules that came into effect at the beginning of April. They were designed to bring the country’s law in line with that of other European jurisdictions, but with Brexit on the horizon and the possibility the UK will lose its marketing passport, will the changes be enough to encourage fund managers to set up in the country (p. 8)?

We also assess the impact the Financial Choice Act could have on private fund compliance (p. 10) and how Jay Clayton’s appointment as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission could change the future direction of the agency (p. 11).



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