Robert W. Baird & Co. has signed on with CAIS' alternatives platform, allowing its 875 advisers to select single-manager hedge funds for the first time.
"Many of the advisers we have recruited from wirehouses are experienced in offering hedge fund investments, and we wanted to offer them and our other experienced advisers a carefully vetted array of hedge fund managers," said Dayna Kleinman, the firm's director and senior product manager for alternative investments.
Since deciding that it was best not to set up and operate an in-house infrastructure to vet and offer hedge funds, she said the firm had been looking for an outside resource to provide single-manager hedge fund access for more than a year.
Baird will continue to offer a range of fund-of-funds in-house, said Ms. Kleinman.
The CAIS alternatives platform provides broker-dealers with fund access, independent research and due diligence, execution and ongoing support. All hedge funds on the platform are required to undergo independent due diligence by Mercer; the platform makes summary reports and ratings available to advisers.
Approximately 600 advisers and firms use the platform, which handled $4.5 billion in transaction volume since the firm was founded in 2009, said Matt Brown, CAIS founder and CEO.
He said that in the first quarter, the firm added its largest number of first-time users of the platform, as well as a record number of advisers and firms purchasing a hedge fund or other alternative product through the platform.