Michael has spent his career as a financial technology investor and operator focused on the financial services infrastructure, wealth management, and specialty finance sectors. Today, he's the Co-Founder and Partner at Broadhaven Ventures, where he focuses on sourcing, investing, and managing investments into early-stage FinTech companies globally.
Prior to Broadhaven Ventures, he was a pre-product employee and SVP at iCapital Network, where he helped build the family office and RIA networks of the online investment platform that has over $75 billion in assets and has received $200 million in funding from investors including BlackRock, Blackstone, Carlyle, Goldman Sachs, and WestCap.
In his spare time, Michael writes and talks about how and why alternative investments are going mainstream on Alt Goes Mainstream, a content platform he founded. Also, he's the co-founder of another content platform called Community x Capital, where he and Alexis Ohanian share conversations about the collision of community and capital.
Michael has an impressive track record, and I could go on introducing him for hours. But now we'll deep dive on his trajectory.
In my conversation with Michael we discussed his childhood, his experience as a soccer player, his career pivot to become an investor and more.
Here are some of the questions I asked Michael during our conversation:Can you tell us a little about your childhood experience growing up outside of D.C. and your first professional experience playing soccer? Also, can you tell us why you chose to pursue a different path after that at the London School of Economics?;
After reading a book called Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood, you chose not to pursue a soccer career, cold e-mailed the author and started working at his company "Room to Read". Nowadays, how important do you think it is to have an authentic online presence so you can be in a position to generate value like you did by just cold emailing the author?
You unfortunately lost your father at a young age, and mainly because you had a good relationship with him, it must have been difficult to deal with it. How did you deal with this important moment of your life?;
Over the past decade, we witnessed a groundbreaking era of democratized access to alternative investments.. And, now, we have entered the most exciting wave of democratization of access to alternative investments: democratized access to investing in real things. How do you see the alternative investments market evolving in the next few years and decades?
You had extensive experience at iCapital Network, a financial technology company connecting advisors and their high net worth investors to leading alternative investment. What do you think is the ideal percentage of capital allocation for high net worth individuals to alternative investments?
When we first connected I shared with you an allocation on an investment because, differently from other VCs, you had that "Rambo" look on your face that made me feel we were very similar in a sense of hustling hard for results. Being on the two sides of the table as an investor and tech executive, how do you think a VC has to help founders make the best out of their businesses?;
Maven, from Gagan Biyani, raised $750K from 479 investors on Republic before their $20M Series A led by Andreessen Horowitz. How do you picture the VC landscape changing after on-ramps, equity crowdfunding and companies like Republic democratizes access to the asset class?
Thank you very much for an amazing conversation, Michael. If I may, I like to ask rapid fire questions. I'm very interested in a good morning routine. What does yours look like?