3 Key Takeaways from iConnections Global Alts 2023
BY Scott Turner
iConnections Global Alts 2023 is one of the premier annual events for executives representing some of the world’s leading allocators and funds. This year, the event was held January 30 to February 2 at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach, which has become one of the top destinations for the finance and hedge communities.
Several members of the K1x team attended Global Alts to connect with the iConnections community, which includes single- and multi-family offices, wealth managers, pension funds, investment consultants and more. We were part of a much larger community of service providers that represent players in accounting, legal, tax, and fund administration. From the sessions to the nearly 180 one-to-one conversations we had with attendees, there were some clear themes and takeaways that represent broader macroeconomic trends and investment topics. They include:
Market volatility is inspiring more dynamic discussions around the future of alt investments.
One may think that economic uncertainty would scare the industry into staying at their home offices. Despite the more challenging environment, Global Alts was one of iConnections’ biggest events yet: a record-breaking 3,000 investors and advisors came together to network and keep alternative investments moving forward.
Of course, the conversations we had with attendees were fueled by a packed agenda that represented a broad range of topics across investment, finance, politics and economics. More than 170 speakers provided pointed commentary and analysis on topics like:
- Finding private markets opportunities amid uncertainty
- Playing offense in distressed markets
- The fundraising outlook for 2023
- The current state and future of inflation
- Trends in impact investing
- The fallout of 2022’s “crypto winter”
While industry experts certainly added to the dynamic conversations (even debates) within the market, there were a few notable names that brought a buzz of excitement to the event, such as Anthony Scaramucci of SkyBridge Capital and Kim Kardashian, who was there representing her new private equity firm SKKY Partners.
There is still high demand for software solutions and services that enable the optimization of capital markets
A big component of the Global Alts experience was the valuable one-to-one networking time. Using iConnections’ proprietary platform, attendees could quickly connect with each other, and also easily search, filter, and arrange meetings with sponsors and exhibitors.
A staggering 14,000 meetings were scheduled over the course of four days — not including the fun networking events and more casual session formats — so attendees could explore the myriad solutions and services on the market. We had many conversations with attendees that were seeking solutions to help them improve any and all processes associated with making, managing, and reporting on their investments.
In addition to making processes more effiticient, attendees noted that they were looking for solutions that reduced costs and compliance risks.
In addition to making processes more efficient, attendees noted that they were looking for solutions that reduced costs and compliance risks. The broader and more diverse their portfolio, including bonds, stocks, funds, and even real estate investments, the more likely they were to seek solutions that simplified the gathering and aggregating of data.
Analog processes associated with producing and receiving Schedule K-1 Forms cause administration headaches and compliance risks. There’s demand for a better way that enables more efficient investing.
The K1x team received overwhelming confirmation from attendees that the analog K-1 ecosystem is creating unnecessary complexity and inherent risk. In our own research, we’ve found that 95% of investors believe K-1s are the worst part of investing. Some will even completely avoid investing in a partnership that distributes a K-1, which ultimately can prevent them from truly optimizing their investment portfolio.
of investors believe K-1s are the worst part of investing
It’s very easy to see why: investors who allocate their assets in several funds and stocks have to manage a lot of data about the performance of their investments. Even if tax preparation is outsourced, in-house tax and compliance teams still have to collect partner information and package data from their systems and be mindful of any reporting errors that may occur on the side of the entities creating the K-1s.
Funds tasked with producing K-1s face similar challenges, especially since they need to collect all of the data needed to complete forms for investors. The process of aggregating data and completing these forms requires hours of time and effort. And because these processes are still largely manual, they also open the funds up to a lot of risk.
K1x can help solve the pain that often comes with producing, receiving and filing K-1s and other related forms. In Q4 2022, K1x released K-1, Navigator, which is designed to help private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, REITs, professional services firms and other K-1 producers streamline the IRS Schedule K-1 production process. By automating preparation, streamlining analysis and connecting K-1 producers and recipients via a digital PDF experience, the solution reduces the complexity and compliance risk that comes with manual data collection and entry.
K1x works with most of the nation’s largest institutional investors, funds and accounting firms. Learn how we are transforming the industry through digitization.