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Halo Investing - 2020 & Beyond

In 2019, Halo Investing raised a Series B round of $12 million in capital to continue the rapid growth of building its global protective investing platform. This milestone helps further Halo’s mission of bringing transparency and efficiency to the structured product marketplace for the benefit of every investor.


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As we continue to navigate the impact of coronavirus, we want to share why 2020 is just the beginning for Halo Investing.


HALO ORIGIN STORY

It's hard to believe that since 2015, Halo has developed a leading fintech platform serving some of the most innovative clients across the globe. Just over the last year Halo doubled headcount and tripled revenue.

In 2019, we also moved into a new Chicago headquarters with plenty of room to grow, and a focus on further expanding our global presence.

Early Days

Halo’s early business model was focused on the idea of a flexible exchange options platform. In fact, Halo helped launch the first exchange-traded binary options in partnership with the New York Stock Exchange.

Given the background of our two founders, Biju Kulathakal and Jason Barsema, this was an exciting unmet need in the market Halo could address with its early technology.

This initial success also uncovered even more areas to disrupt within the financial markets space, all with the help of technology.

We realized that banks, who regularly issue structured products, had difficulty serving more clients because of the highly manual, time consuming process that was involved.

With an early flagship client, Halo built and created a version of the issuance platform that has since transformed the business for many others.

Structured Investment Products

On the investor side, there has been a missing piece in many portfolios. Stocks, which experience the full volatility of the markets, and bonds which provide a level of protection with income attached - covered two ends of the risk spectrum.

Structured products are often thought of as a middle ground between stocks and bonds by providing a level of protection with the upside participation of potential returns.

Defined outcome investments - products that provide a level of protection with clear return expectations tied to certain underlying assets over a specific time period - have been largely unavailable to most investors.

This is the protective value of defined outcome investments. These types of products, including structured notes, had minimums of up to $1 million which made them inaccessible to anyone other than the ultra-wealthy.


Every single day our teams at Halo talk to clients with the aim of making investing more efficient, transparent and effective.

Halo strongly believes the many benefits of structured products should be available to all investors. This includes those simply saving for retirement, looking to put their kids through college, or with a risk-tolerance somewhere between that of stocks and bonds.

With this in mind, Halo is hoping to provide more than investments; we aim to help investors feel confident they will be financially prepared for the future.

A protective investing platform was created out of the need to provide access to the products that would help achieve this goal.

Today, our protective investing platform is driven by world class technology which can easily scale to meet any organizations’ needs. Whether you have one client or thousands; if you have a small issuance desk or do $billions in structured products every year.

Our platform gives investors the insights and choices to make better portfolio decisions.


HALO PROTECTIVE INVESTING PLATFORM

As investors ourselves with family and life events to plan for, we ask ourselves what drives the insights that we wish we had at our fingertips to make better investment decisions. More importantly, to build a valuable tool for others, what do clients want from an investing platform?

Every single day our teams at Halo talk to clients with the aim of making investing more efficient, transparent and effective.

We also understand that many investors don’t have the education or desire to understand the intricate details of every available investment product. This is time consuming, and in some cases an overwhelming amount of investment choices adds to the stress of making the best decision.

Halo has a philosophy that investors want financial outcomes, instead of being sold investment products. Our goal is to solve the complex investment selection decisions using technology.

The financial advisors we serve have a responsibility to their clients to build a clear, actionable plan. The issuing banks we work with have a strong desire to meet investor needs with attractive investment options and competitive terms.

Our investment marketplace benefits from the scale of connecting investors with the global financial institutions that deliver these investment products across the globe.

Investors expect their portfolio decisions to be efficiently and easily implemented. An advisor could have a great investment idea for a specific client, but without effective tools to take action, technology could be doing more to help.


With this in mind, we’ve built our platform on three core ideas:

Automation: The outdated process of issuing, evaluating, purchasing and tracking a structured note is time consuming. Our technology is focused on saving time and driving operating costs much lower, taking the process from days to minutes.

Personalization: Previously investors had little choice in a structured note’s payoff structure or protection options. On our platform, investors can choose custom return, protection and maturity options and price dozens of variations tailored specifically to individual needs.

Democratization: The high minimums and fees have kept many investors from being able to access structured notes. With Halo’s technology we are lowering minimums and bringing transparency to fees so that every investor has access to these portfolio solutions.


2020 AND BEYOND, SOLUTIONS-DRIVEN PLATFORM

Today, investing is dynamic and changing faster than ever… Without the right tools to access and manage available investment options, many investors fall short of meeting their goals.

With these technology challenges in mind, we are excited for future product enhancements to make it easier to find and implement the right investments in a portfolio. We also aim to make the investing process more time efficient, so our partners can spend more valuable time with their clients.

We also want to build as complete a protective investing platform as possible. This means that instead of choosing your investments, we make the options available custom to your situation and risk tolerance, based on the outcome you want to achieve.


With continued strong funding and a growing team, we have a few key initiatives to look forward to in 2020 and beyond:

Further International Expansion

The world is more connected than ever. Investors in the U.S. are different than those in Singapore or Sao Paulo, for example. But at their core all want positive financial outcomes with as little uncertainty as possible.

We think our technology translates globally as a solution for the complicated and difficult structured product market.

Innovative New Features

Technology can make our lives easy, it can also make things more complicated. We are building our technology with the goal of giving you exactly what you need without the burden of learning a completely new platform. We have an extremely talented development team that builds and scales ideas quickly. We will continue this by adding new and updated features to make our technology as seamless as possible.

Growth in Partnerships

We know there are thousands of investment tools out there, each for different purposes. We also know that every investor has their own personal technology stack that works well for them. We want the benefits of the Halo platform to be more broadly available for however you use technology. With that, we will continue to build partnerships that align with these core principles of making protective investing more accessible.

New Asset Classes

We’ve seen the impact Halo has made in the structured notes and market-linked CDs market so far. We also know there are other investment vehicles that are inefficient, hardly transparent and could benefit from further technological disruption. A few examples of these asset classes include annuities and insurance products.


HALO’S THANK YOU TO CLIENTS & PARTNERS

Without the continued support and guidance from our clients, Halo wouldn’t be where it is today. Employees, partners, issuers and financial advisors have brought Halo to the forefront of defined outcome investing. For that, the entire company is truly grateful!

We also have a goal to make the investment landscape better than how we found it. This speaks to our mission of impact before profits. Giving every investor access to protective investments is the reason our two co-founders Jason and Biju started the company.

Before Halo, structured notes suffered from a lack of transparency, inefficient pricing, and illiquidity. All of these problems can be fixed with technology. So that’s what we set out to change, and that’s how Halo is going to make the investing landscape a better place.

We’ve been fortunate enough to do well in this mission thanks to our clients. Our partnerships with banks, wealth management platforms and advisors have developed into a fintech platform that makes it easier to provide investments to clients who have never had access before.

These are the values we think about each day, and that’s the mission that all of us at Halo are building towards. Come join us as Halo changes the way the world invests!


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