Private equity wants you! Seriously, private equity firms are ramping up their efforts to attract (wealthy) individual investors into their fund offerings. Francesca Friday at The Information reports that private equity firms are poaching wealth management talent from the big banks to help their fund marketing efforts. Friday writes:

“Among the firms doing the poaching in the U.S. are Apollo Global Management, Blackstone, Ares Management, Brookfield, KKR, Carlyle, Coller Capital and Pantheon Ventures, according to the analysis. In Europe, Sweden’s EQT, Switzerland’s Partners Group and France’s Tikehau Capital have made key wealth management hires.”

So pretty much all the big firms. They know that complex, high fee funds are not going to sell themselves like index funds. Bruce Kelly at InvestmentNews wrote about how KKR is attempting to enter the mass affluent market. It almost sounds like they are doing the individual investor a favor. Kelly writes:

“Mass affluent individual investors historically have not had an easy way to access these types of products and strategies,” Larson [of KKR] said. “And so over the coming years, if we’re correct and you start to see allocations go from the low single digits to the mid-single digits, that literally is trillions of dollars that have the potential to move to alternative products.“

Trillions of dollars. 1% of a trillion dollars is $10 billion…a year in fees! To say nothing of the performance fees. Even Tony Robbins is getting into the act.

Nick Maggiulli at Of Dollars and Data took a look at Robbins’ new book The Holy Grail of Investing which sounds like a book-length advertisement for a range of alternative investments that can be purchased through affiliated firm. Maggiulli writes:

“Okay, so let me get this straight. According to Robbins, I need to own a set of uncorrelated investments like private credit, sports teams, etc. However, these uncorrelated investments are only found in private markets, which I, as a retail investor, don’t have access to. So what do I do?…Robbins is basically saying that if you want to be financially successful, you have to go through him. He is the gatekeeper to the Holy Grail of investing.”

As the index fund takes over the traditional fund space, the private equity crowd is looking to generate fees in an another way. The big private equity fund firms are zeroing in on the individual investor for the long run, and don’t expect it to end any time soon. Again from The Information:

“We are in the earliest early days of this,” Apollo CEO Marc Rowan noted on a call to investors last week. “This is a $65 trillion market that ultimately has the potential for private markets investors such as ourselves and our peer group to be as large [as], if not larger than, our institutional market.”

There is no holy grail of investing. And even if there was, you should be wary of anyone trying to sell it to you with a multi-year lockup. Remember that when the private equity industry’s new hires come a calling.

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