Altegris merges with Artivest to create $3B alternative investments platform

Private-equity backers embrace the expanded access to investors

Feb 8, 2018 @ 2:39 pm

By Jeff Benjamin

Two alternative investment platforms are merging to create a comprehensive portal for connecting investors, through their financial advisers, with access to both registered and private investment products and strategies.

The deal, announced Thursday, joins San Diego-based Altegris with New York-based Artivest.

The combined firm, which will operate as Artivest, will have approximately $3 billion under management, the majority of which is coming from a family of Altegris funds.

Those funds, both registered and private, will keep the Altegris name.

"The idea behind this deal is we have two businesses with the same mission of creating an access point for the buying and selling of alternative investments in this channel," said James Waldinger, Artivest chief executive, who founded the company five years ago.

"Artivest has the technology and the integration systems, and Altegris has the product suite, fund operations across public and private products, and asset management capabilities," he said. "Together, we create one go-to, open-architecture network for investors of all sizes."

The combination of the two organizations has wide support from the financial backers of both firms.

"This merger scales up a great team to serve an even broader range of investors, while it preserves the benefits of independent ownership," Peter Thiel, Artivest's earliest angel investor, said in a statement.

Thiel Capital will now take a seat on the company's board. A renowned venture capitalist and founder of PayPal and Palantir, Mr. Thiel also was Facebook's first outside investor.

Altegris has been at least partially owned by private-equity investors since 2013, when the company was acquired from previous owner Genworth Financial.

Terms of the all-stock merger were not disclosed, and the combined company will remain privately held by employees and outside investors, including Aquiline Capital Partners, Genstar Capital, KKR and Thiel Capital.

Mr. Waldinger will serve as CEO, and Matt Osborne, founder and chief investment officer of Altegris, will continue as CIO overseeing investment research and management, including oversight of the Altegris family of funds.

Martin Beaulieu, executive chairman and CEO of Altegris, will become executive chairman of the combined firm when the deal is completed in the next few months.

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