Driven by demand from pension schemes to sell illiquid assets, Isio has launched a platform enabling investors to sell illiquid assets “more efficiently”.

Isio Fund Liquidity Options (i-FLO) has been driven by the “significant” demand the consultancy has seen from UK pension schemes to sell illiquid assets, combined with the difficulties sellers face doing so in a timely manner and at a good price.

The consultancy said the desire to sell illiquid assets has increased following the market volatility cause by the budget in September 2022, with pension schemes seeking greater liquidity, to rebalance strategic asset allocation, or to prepare for insurance transaction.

Typically, Isio pointed out, clients have used brokers to sell illiquid assets, but that process is “inefficient” in markets such as private debt and infrastructure equity secondaries.

Isio said the i-Flo platform provides a “better alternative” in these markets by leveraging the consultancy’s direct relationships with leading private debt and infrastructure equity secondaries buyers. This enables schemes to find buyers and execute sales in a more efficient manner, with lower fees compared with other options in the market.

Isio added that it is currently advising a number of illiquid asset sales, across private debt and infrastructure equity. In addition, Isio supports transactions for other private market asset classes, such as private equity and real estate, by working with a panel of brokers and acting as a one-stop solution for all types of private assets.

The firm also announced it is exploring other “innovative” ways of obtaining liquidity for schemes outside of outright sales.

Ajith Balan Nair, head of asset class and manager research at Isio, said that private market asset classes have provided excellent sources of alternative income and growth for pension scheme investors in recent years, but the fallout of the liability-driven investments (LDI) crisis and being closer to endgame is prompting many of them to sell.

He said: “Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done, and the process for exiting illiquid assets can be slow and expensive.”

Balan Nair added that Isio launched i-FLO to provide a more efficient way to complete transactions.

He said: “Our platform takes advantage of the strength and depth of our relationships with private market secondaries investors in private debt and infrastructure equity to deliver a faster result at a competitive price and with lower fees compared to what we have seen historically through the traditional routes in the market. 

“We hope to grow the platform over time to provide effective solutions for the buyers and sellers of illiquid assets across the institutional marketplace.” 

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