Alt Goes Mainstream: 2 years in and what's next
Launching The AGM Collective: AGM Content, AGM Community, & AGM Capital by Broadhaven Ventures
Alt Goes Mainstream is growing.
If you only have a few minutes, here’s what you should know about the next phase of Alt Goes Mainstream:
Launching AGM in 2020: I launched Alt Goes Mainstream at the end of 2020 with the belief that alts had hit the point of no return. Alt Goes Mainstream was built to help people navigate the rapidly expanding surface area of private markets. Over the past two years, Alt Goes Mainstream has published 49 podcasts and 71 blog posts.
Taking AGM to the next level: Alt Goes Mainstream is transforming into the AGM Collective, which will be a meeting place for private markets online and offline.
Goal of AGM: The goal of the AGM Collective is to help make alts go mainstream by using the AGM platform to create content, capital, community, and connections.
The AGM Collective will have three different components: AGM Content, AGM Community, AGM Capital by Broadhaven Ventures.
🎙 AGM Content 📝: Podcasts with industry leaders across a collection of different shows in thematic verticals and written content about industry trends.
🤝 AGM Community: Offline and online events that bring together people in the alts space to create connections and learning opportunities. Our first AGM Community event will be a private dinner in London this January sponsored by Coutts, a private bank with ~$33B AUM. We plan to do more of these in different cities throughout the year.
💵 AGM Capital by Broadhaven Ventures: Capital solutions to help alts go mainstream. The first initiative is the AGM Collective Scout Program, which will provide alts founders and angels with the ability to invest into alts & fintech companies, all while leveraging the private markets infrastructure we’ve invested into that is making alts go mainstream. Stay tuned for an announcement on the AGM Collective Scout Program next week.
If you’d like to learn more about the AGM Collective or explore ways to collaborate with the AGM Collective, drop me a line at email@example.com.
December 31, 2020
We were nearing the end of a year where the S&P reached record highs. We were almost one year into a pandemic that had a harrowing impact on our lives as we knew it. A vaccine had yet to be rolled out. We were bracing for the unknown. And yet, there seemed to be optimism in the financial markets, whether it be public or private. People were interested in investing in just about anything.
Now, with the benefit of hindsight, one might now call that unbridled optimism. And they wouldn’t be wrong. It was truly the excess of everything.
Markets had been served a cocktail of low interest rates and massive fiscal and monetary stimulus, so with limited benefit from holding cash or investing into fixed income, TINA (“there is no alternative”) became the investor mindset.
Everything became an investable asset. The financialization of anything and everything ushered in a new phase of finance: alts going mainstream.
As rates and inflation have risen, and as a painful war has raged on in Ukraine, markets have come back down to earth. Surely this has had a market impact on the alts space. Valuations for companies in private markets are down and funding rounds have shrank meaningfully (Cooley, November 2022). GPs in the midst of fundraising for new funds have seen LP allocations come to a screeching halt. Crypto and NFT trading volumes have dropped precipitously.
All of this represents a fully justified pullback in private markets and capital inflows into alts.
But it doesn’t dampen my optimism for alts going mainstream. In fact, quite the opposite. The past two years have served as more than merely a period of unbridled enthusiasm for alts and inflows into private markets.
This period has represented a seismic shift for both investors’ portfolios and the future of private markets. There’s more to it.
Usually when industries go through periods of innovation, optimism in the present distracts from the work that’s being done to lay the groundwork for that industry’s future.
Evolutions power revolutions
Alts are going mainstream — not just because the low rate environment and TINA world of the past two years created a fleeting interest in alts. Alts are going mainstream because the past few years have laid the groundwork for a market structure evolution that has coincided with a revolution in portfolio construction for more investors.
I launched Alt Goes Mainstream at the end of 2020 with the belief that alts had hit the point of no return.
There are a few features about this evolution that have stood out:
1/ Private companies have stayed private longer, relying on capital from private markets to fund continued growth.
2/ The evolution of asset managers into multi-strategy, multi-product firms has led to the era of $100B+ AUM investment platforms, which has led to a desire to expand their LP bases beyond institutional investor distribution channels.
3/ Years of now mainstay alts companies like AngelList, iCapital, Carta, Republic and many more building critical infrastructure to enable investors to access private markets has finally led to an alts revolution.
4/ The perfect storm of external influences — low rates, regulation to unlock investor access to alts, a reshaped mental model of an investor’s portfolio that goes beyond 60/40 — served as catalysts for something structural that had been brewing.
Technology innovation in alts across the lifecycle of an investment has paved the way for alts going — and now staying — in the mainstream.
What’s next for alts?
While it’s understandable to be pessimistic about the growth of alts in the short term, the longer term outlook for alts is quite promising.
Goldman’s prediction of alts growing to $30T in AUM by 2030 (The FT, April 2022) may be more difficult to achieve with muted inflows to private markets over the next few years. However, even 2x growth from current AUM levels would represent a $20T industry and the continued mainstreaming of alts.
Why will the dramatic growth of alts continue? Investors remain woefully underallocated to alts. Most wealth managers continue to employ a strategy of 5% or less allocation to alts on behalf of their clients. Younger investors want to invest (and in larger proportions) into alternative assets (Lansons, December 2022). Allocations to alts should continue to increase in relative and absolute terms for many investors.
As more investors look to invest into alts, so too grows the demand for education of the allocators, investors, and entrepreneurs in the space.
Allocation follows education. Investors want to learn about private markets. The popularity of educational organizations like CAIA prove this point.
We must not forget that private markets are still in their relative infancy. The institutionalization of the private equity and hedge fund industries really began in earnest in the 1980s and 1990s. Private equity only reached $1T AUM in 2006. These industries are less than 50 years old. There is still much to be developed in the alts space — and much for people to learn.
With more education comes increasing sophistication. The more people know, the more people are equipped to take action and navigate an ever-changing investment landscape.
That’s why I built Alt Goes Mainstream.
Alt Goes Mainstream operates at the center of the alternative investments industry. We create audio (podcasts) and written (blog posts) content to help educate people about alts.
Over the past two years, AGM has interviewed 49 guests at the epicenter of making alts go mainstream.
We’ve had some of the industry’s titans on the podcast, including CEOs of trillion dollar AUM asset managers, Franklin Templeton and Russell Investments, and the CEO of $142B Man Group. We’ve had founders and CEOs of some of the largest alts startups on the show. We’ve had founders from some of the most exciting new ideas in the space.
We’ve covered sports cards (Alt) and cap tables (Carta). We’ve highlighted sports (Angel City FC, USL) and syndicates (Bunch, Syndicate). We’ve covered community (Finimize) and the institutionalization of crypto (Fidelity Digital Assets, Bitwise). We’ve talked about funds (iCapital, Moonfare, Allocate) and football (Sorare). We’ve covered alt alts (Rally Rd, Vincent, Vinovest, WAX, FarmTogether) and private credit (Percent). We’ve talked with executives at some of the largest US wealth management platforms (Dynasty, Hightower, Manhattan West). We’ve heard from VCs who are shaping the future of alts through their investments and platforms (Passion Capital, Latitud, GFC, Boost VC, Bessemer Venture Partners). We’ve heard the wisdom of educating professionals in alts from the leading educational body in the space (CAIA) and podcasted live from AltsLA with CIOs of pension funds and large asset managers.
You can find some of the most popular episodes and blog posts over the past 24 months on Alt Goes Mainstream here.
So, what’s next for Alt Goes Mainstream?
It’s time to take Alt Goes Mainstream to the next level.
Alt Goes Mainstream is transforming into the AGM Collective, which will be a meeting place for private markets online and offline.
AGM is a meeting place for private markets online and offline.
The goal of AGM is to help make alts go mainstream and AGM can be the platform to create the content, capital, community, and connections to make that happen. Alts will go mainstream as more investors are educated on the merits of private markets and as fund managers have the capability to launch, raise, and run their funds in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.
First, we are changing the name from Alt Goes Mainstream to the AGM Collective. AGM will still stand for Alt Goes Mainstream, but AGM encompasses the broader vision of the platform.
An AGM is the Annual General Meeting for an alternative investment fund. It’s where GPs and LPs come together to be updated on fund performance and the broader market.
An AGM for a fund represents capital, community, connections, and education. Everything that a fund’s AGM represents are areas where we will expand the AGM Collective platform.
The AGM Collective
AGM Content will continue to be at the core of everything we do. We’ll continue to do podcasts with leaders across the alts space. The expansion of AGM content will be underpinned by the creation of thematic content verticals. AGM Content will be a collection of different shows:
Alts Innovators: The startups making the alts industry go mainstream.
The Juggernauts: Established GPs and alternative asset managers shaping the industry.
Emerging Talent: Uncovering greatness with emerging fund managers.
The Real Money: The LPs, wealth managers, and private banks making allocation decisions.
Crypto: Still the next big thing?
The Sports Stack: The financialization of sports.
Partnership podcasts with alts companies (TBA).
If you or your firm would like to discuss participating on a podcast or sponsoring AGM Content, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
🤝 AGM Community
AGM Community will bring together people in the alts space to create connections and learning opportunities. Our first AGM Community event will be a private dinner in London this January sponsored by Coutts, a private bank with ~$33B AUM. We plan to do more of these in different cities throughout the year.
If you or your firm would like to sponsor or host a dinner, drop me a line at email@example.com.
💵 AGM Capital by Broadhaven Ventures feat. AGM Collective Scout Program
AGM Capital by Broadhaven Ventures will launch capital solutions to hep alts go mainstream. The first initiative is the AGM Collective Scout Program to provide alts founders and angels with the ability to invest into alts & fintech companies, all while leveraging the private markets infrastructure we’ve invested into that is making alts go mainstream. Stay tuned for the announcement about our first Scouts next week.
If your company would like to learn more about how to be funded by AGM Capital by Broadhaven Ventures, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To keep up with the latest events and updates on The AGM Collective, you can subscribe here.
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