IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Alter Domus

March 27, 2024

As the new member participants in the Illinois Venture Capital Association (IVCA) keeps expanding, the current membership are given new opportunities for networking, in addition to optimizing support and partnerships, which leads to guidance and new ideas for Venture Capital, Private Equity and support industries.

The latest new member is Alter Domus, a firm that is driven by a deep understanding  of what it takes to succeed in the alternatives market, having developed an unmatched offering to meet and anticipate the ever-changing needs of investment managers and asset owners worldwide.

The following is a Q&A profile with Alter Domus, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.

New Member: Alter Domus
Representatives: David Traverso, Managing Director North America and Charlotte Hollow, Senior Marketing and Content Manager

IVCA: What is a brief history of and background on Alter Domus?

Alter Domus: Alter Domus was founded in Luxembourg in 2003 as a corporate services provider and we have rapidly expanded our global reach as well as our service offering since then – all within the alternative investment space.

We have been operating here in the U.S. for 17 years now, with growth being both organic and via acquisition. We acquired Cortland Capital Market Services in 2018, Strata Fund Solutions in 2021, and most recently, the leading fintech provider Solvas in 2023. Today in the we have 1,600 plus employees across nine offices in the United States with over 14,000 structures under administration.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?

Alter Domus: Our U.S. headquarters are in Chicago and we focused solely on the alternatives space. As a company we felt there was a strategic affinity with the IVCA, in terms of the positive promotion of private markets and the need for collective, mutually beneficial collaboration of companies within the space.

IVCA: Your firm deals with so-called alternative markets, which is not a top-of-the-line term. What advantages of your services is potentially contributory to the membership of the IVCA?

Alter Domus: While we do indeed specialize in servicing alternative markets, our knowledge and skill set are highly transferable and relevant to all kinds of finance and investment houses. For instance, one of our key new areas of business is our operational model advisory offering, where we partner with clients to help them work out how best to structure their teams and systems to ensure their strategies are successful.

Beyond that, with $2.5Trillion assets under administration currently, and a world where data-driven decision making has become paramount, we have over 20 years of data management and digitization experience in some of the fastest growing markets in the world.

IVCA: How do you see the role of technology evolving in the fund servicing space?

Alter Domus: To put this bluntly, the administration and fund accounting infrastructure – that would have been perfectly adequate to manage a private equity fund 15 years ago – is now no longer fit for purpose. Best-in-class technology and digitally powered fund operations have become essential for private market stakeholders.

Service providers such as Alter Domus have the tools and experience to support managers through this technological inflection point. Asa trusted partner to hundreds of managers, Alter Domus has developed deep-and-lived experience of what is required to upgrade technology and operational infrastructure in practice.

IVCA: You have offices in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific regions. What needs do you find different in each, or has globalization truly made all areas of the world standard in investment approach?

Alter Domus: The biggest difference is the varying regulatory landscape across different jurisdictions – it is imperative that we understand these differences to serve our clients. However, the white-glove service we provide to clients and the dedication of our teams is consistent across all of our offices.

IVCA: You also list three main client categories … Alternative Asset Managers, Asset Owners and Financial Institutions … briefly, what are the different needs in these categories, and are they surprisingly the same or notably different?

Alter Domus: Well, all of these client types interact and dovetail with each other, but the needs of each can be very specific to each institution and they differ both structurally and strategically.

For instance, asset owners are of course one of the primary sources of investment for funds that asset managers have stood up and there are distinct needs and demands that the asset owner places on the asset manager in areas such as reporting. Asset managers have their own distinct reporting requirements internally from back to front office. However, there are needs that are universal between them: they all want to drive sustainable growth, reduce operational risk, increase efficiencies. And that’s why they partner with Alter Domus, for whether it’s in fund administration and accounting, investor statement digitization or regulatory risk modeling for mid-size banks, we have the market leading technology and in-house expertise to deliver.

IVCA: What does Alter Domus hope to achieve in their interaction with the VC/PE community within the IVCA?

Alter Domus: We want to be able to share ideas and partner with local companies on understanding and navigating industry, economic, and regulatory changes – SEC private funds rule is a good example – as well as looming at interesting and innovative ways to demonstrate that partnership to the broader market.

For the website of Alter Domus, click here.

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