March Luncheon - Democratization of Alternatives

When:  Mar 20, 2024 from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM (CT)
Associated with  CFA Society Austin

Democratization of Alternatives


Representatives from Mercer, local Registered Investment Advisors, and CAIS will discuss the democratization of alternatives in the wealth management space & how wealth management firms can differentiate their businesses with an alternative investment program. The second annual CAIS-Mercer survey, “The State of Alternative Investments in Wealth Management 2023,” indicates a shift from traditional 60/40 portfolios to a more diversified portfolio that includes public equities, fixed income, and alternatives. 

According to Mercer & CAIS’s most recent survey, 85% of financial advisors expect to increase allocations to one or more alternative asset classes within the next year.  Financial advisors are turning to alternative asset classes to help achieve portfolio goals, such as enhancing returns, diversifying risk, supplementing income, or preserving capital. Additionally, alternative investment strategies help differentiate their businesses and attract and retain clients. 

During the session, the presenters will review the findings:

  • How access to alternative investments can help advisors meet client goals and objectives, attract new clients, and retain existing clients. 
  • A comparison of alternative asset classes (private debt, real estate, private equity, hedge funds, and structured notes) and their potential to enhance returns.
  • Trends in alternative investing and anticipated growth over the next 12 months.

Why Alternative Investments?  

More than three-quarters of advisors surveyed - 78% of them - felt that access to alternatives helps their clients meet their goals and objectives. Most respondents (83%) believe that including alternative investments provides a competitive business advantage, differentiating their practice from peers. A majority also felt that this access helps to win new clients (59%) or gain wallet share with existing clients (51%).



David A. Hyman, CFA
Strategic Advisor, Partner


David Hyman is a Partner and senior investment consultant at Mercer. He develops client relationships across various financial intermediaries, including registered investment advisors and regional banks, and drives the advancement and growth of client investment platforms and portfolios. David joined Mercer in 2011 after having worked at Evaluation Associates since 1999. Prior to Evaluation Associates, David worked as an investment research analyst at American Planning Group, a wealth management firm that serves high-net-worth individuals.  

David received an AB in Communications and Political Science from the University of Michigan and an MBA in Finance from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute and the New York Society of Security Analysts; David also holds the Series 3 and 30 licenses. David serves as an Investment Committee member of the Westport (CT) Public Library and as a member of the MMI Institutional Steering Committee; he formerly served as a Trustee of The Conservative Synagogue of Westport (CT).

Ted Norcross
Product Specialist, Vice President

-        Before joining CAIS, Ted was a wholesaler inside and out for Fidelity Investments Institutional arm for over ten years, where he worked with Financial Advisors. 

-        Currently, Ted is a representative for CAIS covering South TX and several surrounding states.  

Gabe Thornhill, CFA
Investment Advisor
MPM Wealth Advisors

-        Mr. Thornhill is an investment advisor with MPM Wealth Advisors, who previously served as President of Thornhill Securities, an independent financial services firm based in Austin, Texas.

-     While working for JP Morgan Investment Management, Houston, TX, as an analyst and fund manager for nearly a decade, he followed financial services companies and technology stocks and ultimately co-managing two small-cap funds with total assets of $1.8 billion.  Prior to JP Morgan, he was a corporate lending officer for national mortgage finance companies with Texas Commerce Bank, Houston, TX. Mr. Thornhill earned his B.A. and M.B.A from The University of Texas at Austin, attended Washington and Lee University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst. 

Complimentary parking is available at Chateau Bellevue.

Parking Directions:

Use the following address 702 Nueces Street to GPS to go the parking lot of  Chateau Bellevue. Otherwise, if you use the google address, it will take you to the historical part of the building on San Antonio Street. 

Guest can park in either lot (they own both). Signs will be posted to the public that the lot is closed for our private event.  You do not have to pay to park regardless of the posted signage. 

Guests will enter under the canopy, into the elevator foyer area.  Once in the elevator they will press the button for the first floor (there is signage right by that button to let them know where to go). The elevator will open up right into the ballroom.


Click on MORE INFORMATION to register!


Chateau Bellevue
708 San Antonio St
Austin, TX 78701