What You Need to Know
- The new Direct Investment Access Program will allow wealthy clients to invest directly in private companies.
- Michael Gaviser has joined Morgan Stanley and its Investment Solutions team to head the new initiative.
- This is a first step in uniting several existing Morgan Stanley businesses, according to Ben Huneke, head of Investment Solutions.
Morgan Stanley has created a private-share program for its wealthy clients to invest directly in privately held companies, Ben Huneke, the wirehouse’s head of Investment Solutions, disclosed in an internal company announcement shared with ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday.
To head the new Direct Investment Access Program, Michael Gaviser has joined Morgan Stanley and its Investment Solutions team, reporting to Huenke. Gaviser, a KKR alum, has over 25 years of experience and leadership in strategy, business development and client service in the financial services industry, Huenke noted.
The news was first reported Tuesday morning by The Wall Street Journal, which reported that the program would be open to clients with at least $20 million in assets.
The ability to invest in private companies has been “particularly sought after as the number of public companies has halved in the past 25 years and private company market capitalization has grown at three times the rate of the public markets since 2000,” he explained.
Meanwhile, a growing number of asset managers are moving into private investment markets for alternative investments. They’re offering those investments directly, sometimes in partnership with an outside firm, or acquiring firms that specialize in nonpublic assets.
Morgan Stanley has previously offered direct private investments to clients, Huenke noted.
“But this enhanced and formalized program will uniquely position us to deliver a differentiated deal flow to our clients through” several existing businesses at the wirehouse, he said.