World’s largest cap intro event goes live as top allocators and managers come together for Funds4Food Covid-19 fundraiser

Zoom meeting

The largest capital introduction event in history has gone live today (15 June) with the launch of Funds4Food, a two-week network of virtual one-on-one meetings between alternative asset managers and leading allocators that is raising funds to aid relief efforts for victims of Covid-19.

Orchestrated by iConnections, the new Pennsylvania-based networking and software solutions business launched in April by ex-Context Summits founder Ron Biscardi, the online fundraiser is facilitating a round-the-clock series of private cap intro video-conference meetings until 2 July – with all proceeds from event registrations going to charities focused on Covid-19 hunger relief.

Over USD1.6 million has already been raised through manager registrant donations. More than 3,700 meetings have been pledged (with 1,700 already scheduled) and the event is bringing together managers from across the alternative asset management spectrum with top allocators including many of the most prestigious and sought-after end-investors and asset owners around the world.

More than 300 asset managers are registered for the event – spanning hedge funds, private equity, real estate, infrastructure, private debt, venture capital and long-only funds – while the line-up of some 320 allocators comprises an A-list attendance from the leading university endowments in North America, the UK and Europe, along with many of the world’s biggest and most influential foundation, pension, sovereign wealth, insurance, fund of fund and large family office investors.

The event is all the more remarkable given that planning and marketing only got underway a few weeks ago, with Biscardi and his iConnections colleagues being aided on allocator engagement by two of the best-connected individuals in the alternative investment industry: Rahul Moodgal, formerly partner in charge of investor relations and business development at Sir Chris Hohn’s The Children’s Investment Fund Management group; and Ted Seides, former co-founder and co-CIO of US-based hedge fund investment group Protégé Partners and the founder of Capital Allocators.

“The response from allocators has been amazing,” says Biscardi. “A lot of them are people who don’t attend any conferences, ever. The world comes to them normally. But when charity is involved, it’s a different story. The opportunity to meet some interesting managers, and to help provide food for people who are really suffering in the midst of this pandemic, has been a powerful mix and the support we’ve had from all over the industry and all over the world has just been terrific.”

All proceeds generated through manager registrations will be distributed to charities focused on hunger relief for victims of Covid-19. Supported charities will include World Central Kitchen, Catalyst Kitchens, Community Food Centres Canada, The Felix Project, Garces Foundation, Philabundance, Food Banks Canada, Schweizer Tafel and Feeding America. 

The Garces Foundation, a Philadelphia-based non-profit that launched the Garces Foundation Food Pantry in partnership with local restaurants to provide boxes of food to community members in need, is serving as the charity partner and will distribute funds to all other supported charities.

“We are excited to be partnering with iConnections, our local neighbour,” says David Maser, chairman of the board of Garces Foundation. “Together and with our national and global charity partners, Funds4Food will help feed hungry people worldwide.”

Investment managers and allocators interested in registering for Funds4Food can do so at www.funds4food.com. The event is almost sold out, but there are a few manager slots remaining at USD12,500.

Given the enthusiasm with which allocators, managers and service providers have supported the inaugural fundraiser, it may become an annual event. It is also possible that the current event may extend beyond its initial 2 July deadline if there is demand.

iConnections founder Biscardi, a veteran of the alternative investment community, is the former CEO of a hedge fund seeder and the founder of the world’s largest capital introduction conference for the alternative investment industry, the Miami-based Context Summit.

Funds4Food is underwritten and supported by industry participants including align, Alpine Capital Advisors, Bloomberg, BTIG, Chestnut Funds, Citco, KPMG, Lombard International, Northern Trust, Novus, Prosek Partners, RBC Capital Markets, Schulte Roth & Zabel, Studio Two, TD Securities and Zip Communications.