Alternative Allocations: Due Diligence Meetings

We recently welcomed approximately 100 advisors each in back-to-back due diligence meetings in Austin, TX. The energy was electric as advisors from across the country came to gain greater insights regarding Franklin Templeton’s alternative investment platform. “It’s incredibly humbling to see such strong advisor demand for our thought leadership, portfolio construction insights, and alternative education. Product adoption of the Alternatives by Franklin Templeton business—across Clarion, Benefit Street, Lexington, Franklin Venture Partners and K2 Advisors—continues to accelerate. Flagship diligence events like this are a key pillar of our commitment to advisors and distributors alike,” stated Dave Donahoo, Franklin Templeton’s Head of US Wealth Management Alternatives.

The events included Franklin Templeton professionals and CIOs from several of our alternative investment funds. We covered such topics as why real estate makes sense in today’s market environment, the role and use of alts, and how to build portfolios with alternative investments. Our CIOs shared their respective outlooks and responded to advisor questions about challenges and opportunities.

We took advantage of our Austin locale and brought advisors to dinner at one of Clarion Partners’ local properties. “Democratizing access to institutional-quality commercial real estate is an important goal for both Clarion Partners and Franklin Templeton. This event provided a terrific opportunity not only to spend time showcasing one of Clarion Partners’ local properties and share insights about the potential benefits of private real estate, but also to demonstrate how a city like Austin reflects two of the themes we feel are driving current real estate trends—demographics and innovation. We look forward to participating in these types of events in other markets in the future,” noted Rick Schaupp, Portfolio Manager, Managing Director, Clarion Partners.

In both due diligence programs, I shared research on the impact of allocating to alternative investments in client portfolios. To gauge the audience’s level of engagement, I inquired about their current allocation to alts, and closed with a question regarding their future plans. Nearly 90% of the advisors in both programs indicated they were looking to increase their allocation to alternatives in the coming year. That’s a very good sign for the industry and our clients.