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Tete-a-Tete with the AIC Capital Leadership: ‘We’re capital allocators specialized in direct investment in real estate and private equity’

“We create great communities; invite good families to come in and to live in a nice environment.”

AIC Capital is a research-based and data-driven investment platform that serves a myriad of clientele, including high net-worth individuals, family offices, and institutions. AIC is specialized in direct investments in commercial real estate, mostly rental residential sector, which is usually multi-family housing and student housing.

The firm has assets based in the US, but serves clients across several continents, including Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the US.

AIC Capital is “considered a one-stop-shop”; from sourcing to underwriting the assets, AIC makes all the financial projections, obtains the leverage with the lenders, acquires the assets, structures the assets, manages the assets, and finally, a few years later, the exit of the assets.

AIC defines the strategy and the decision where and why to acquire the assets is based on in-house intelligence. The acquisition process is very well structured, and AIC provides monthly, quarterly, and annual financial reports and property reports — to distribute to clients.

Importantly, the firm not only serves the commercial real estate industry, but also the venture capital one.

AIC Capital was founded in 2017 and is based in Miami, Florida.

The Silicon Review contacted Ricardo Outi (founder & Managing Partner) and Sandra Di Moise (Managing Partner), who spoke about how AIC Capital is making a difference in these segments and plans to stay at the forefront. Below is an excerpt.

Head to Head with Ricardo Outi and Sandra Di Moise, Managing Partners of AIC Capital

Q. Mr. Outi, have you always been passionate about the alternative investment industry? And can you tell us what inspired the creation of AIC Capital?

Thank you for asking this question. Yes, I have been in the wealth and investment management industry since the beginning of my career. Before creating AIC Capital, I spent 20 years in the industry learning about other segments that appealed to me, including the alternative investment one. Now, it’s safe to mention that I am more passionate about the alternative investment space. Nonetheless, I have never liked the stock market as it does not attract me. 

Back in Singapore, I led Citi Ventures and got to spend time with the alternative investment industry folks, and that served as the basis for appreciating real estate. Soon after completing my stint at Citi Ventures, I returned to the US and immediately received a call from a client asking me to set up a company — that could assist him and other investors to make direct investments into real estate in the United States. In a nutshell, that’s how AIC Capital was incorporated.

Q. Mrs. Di Moise, how distinctive is your investment strategy and how does it work in favor of your investors and clients?

A good question! If you look at real estate, it's one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world, and historically, it has performed better than the stock market. And the correlation to the broader market is also relatively low. Especially in today's world with a low-interest rate, whereby fixed income is not an alternative. Importantly, if you want to invest capital or preserve wealth, which is one of our main focuses, I would say going through alternatives is a must. For example, the large institutional investors allocating between five to 25% of their total portfolio, and most of them in the US, are increasing their percentage and allocation. And the high-net-worth individuals with maybe zero to five percent on average. So why is that? Well, because they don't have proper access. That said, if you ask any adviser, no one ever downplays real estate or alternative investment as a bad decision to have a portfolio in. I think the vast majority will agree that it’s a crucial aspect of diversification and capital preservation.

Q. Mr. Outi, given how frequently the circumstances change, what plans for transformation are you pursuing to remain relevant now and in the future?

Recently, Sandra and I talked about the sector we currently operate in. It's an evolving market, a lot of technology in place, and so on. On the investment front, last year was a record high year for venture capital, and currently, we see more and more capital flowing in. And we at AIC Capital are always formulating investment strategies to support our investors to do more capital allocation into venture capital.

AIC Capital, by definition, is research-based and data-driven, and honestly, this is one of our main points of differentiation. What we do and how we do is process-based. We don’t buy anything if there is no growth, and naturally, growth will be the main demand driver for our assets. We have an extensive database with more than 50 variables across all addresses in the U.S., and being in this space and talking and investing with big players like the largest in the world, such as Blackstones and Starwoods, CIMs, and the mid- and small-sized players, I must say that I haven’t seen any company deploying capital as scientific and data-driven as we’re doing it. We’re going to expand on that and continue to deliver top-quality services.

Furthermore, I am glad that we formulated a way to leverage data to make better investment decisions. As data continues to evolve, our data scientists keep building on it and that is going to positively impact our investment decisions.

Q. Mrs. Di Moise, where does AIC capital stand when it comes to giving back to the community?

I am glad that you asked this question. To answer it better, I will add on to one of the concepts that were discussed above that — what we do and how we do it. So, we don't buy anything without really having the data behind it. Let's take the real estate, for example, we like to acquire multi-family housing in growing communities. And I don't know how much familiar you are with the housing market in the US, but in certain places, there's almost a social price going because a lot of people are being priced out. Rent and mortgage and cost of construction or house price are going higher, much higher than income. So you see a lot of properties that cater for the lower-income or mid-income, like the workforce housing. And they're mismanaged and undercapitalized. Those properties are, most of the times, not well-kept and far from what any family would want in terms of a place that they can call home.

What we do is we come in, invest in the property, and renovate the units to look as nice and economical as possible. We create great communities; invite good families to come in and to live in a nice environment. So I think the typical thing goes, I mean, doing well by doing good and we feel very proud when we go and see the transformation. I like the vision and I like where we are going and things like that. I think that's a little bit of how we are giving back. We are not a charitable entity, but definitely, we feel good about doing something for the community.

Leadership | AIC Capital

Ricardo Outi, founder and Managing Partner, has over 20 years of wealth management, real estate, venture capital, and private equity investment experience. He achieved a successful global career at Citigroup in Brazil, the United States, Japan, and Singapore. This includes a head of strategy and business development at Citi Offshore Wealth Management in Miami, head of marketing and sales strategy in Tokyo, a senior position at Citi Ventures in Singapore. He founded AIC Capital in early 2017 with the purpose to serve the unmet needs of clients seeking to allocate capital in the direct alternative investment opportunities, traditionally available only to large institutional investors. Ricardo has an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Sandra Di Moise, Managing Partner, is an accomplished, highly skilled financial services executive with over 25 years of global experience in Consumer Business, Wealth Management, Payments, Consumer Finance, Banking, Fintech, M&A, Marketing, and Real Estate. She has had a successful international career in two global financial corporations - Citi and Barclays, having occupied C-level positions in Latin America, the USA, and Europe. She has held board member positions in Barclay, Fintech and Nonprofit organizations. She’s an advisor for Endeavor Miami and MAZE Impact (in Europe). She holds an Engineering degree from the University of São Paulo, a Marketing Specialization from Getulio Vargas, a Business Specialization certificates from Kellogg and Columbia Universities, and a Real Estate Investment certificate from Wharton University.

“We have an extensive database with more than 50 variables across all addresses in the U.S., and being in this space and talking and investing with big players like the largest in the world, such as Blackstones and Starwoods, CIMs, and the mid- and small-sized players, I must say that I haven’t seen any company deploying capital as scientific and data-driven as we’re doing it.”