As Jeff Sica sees it, homogenization is good for milk but not for investing. The founder of Sica Wealth Management in Morristown, N.J., believes the proliferation of index funds and the increased correlation among asset classes has created a sense of sameness across the investment landscape and deprived investors of having enough viable options to properly diversify their portfolios. The best way to rectify that, he believes, is to add alternative investments to portfolios.

To that end, this summer he launched Circle Squared, an alternative investments-focused platform aimed at RIAs, family offices and individual investors, as well as pensions, foundations and trusts.

Circle Squared is a turnkey platform with offerings that include investments, research, analysis and modeling, administrative functions and regulatory information. Its suite of investment products includes real estate, private equity, private credit, natural resources and private placement offerings.

Some of the investment products will be co-managed with outside teams that Circle Squared has vetted; others will be managed by the firm’s own portfolio team led by Sica, the company’s chief investment officer.

If advisors are happy with their current platform, Sica said his firm’s services can be integrated into it.

In coming months, Sica aims to launch an online community for RIAs and to form strategic partnerships with outside entities. In September, for example, the firm announced a partnership with the Hampshire Companies, a private real estate investment firm, to create a suite of real estate-focused alternative products.

Sica previously held senior positions as managing director at Wachovia/Wells Fargo and vice president at A.G. Edwards before he started Sica Wealth Management in 2010. That firm, which he still runs as president and CIO, oversees and consults on more than $1 billion in assets under advisement.

“We’re not your typical RIA in that we work mainly on a consulting basis,” Sica says. “We have our own co-branded fund that we advise on that has more than $2 billion in assets. What we’re doing with Circle Squared is taking a lot of those same strategies we’re offering through the RIA and bringing them to a wider audience through the platform.”

He says one of the big impetuses for starting Circle Squared was his belief that most advisors––including himself––didn’t have sufficient exposure to alternative investments. So he researched the field and spoke to experts and concluded that most people don’t invest in alternatives for two main reasons: a lack of knowledge about these products and a lack of access to them.

“Our first goals were to create the educational platform and create the accessibility, which includes an overlay of high-level due diligence so advisors feel confident in the products they’re looking at,” he says.

Sica says the vast majority of investors who use Circle Squared will be accredited and qualified. Even so, he notes the site provides resources, such as white papers from alternative investment veterans, for all investors interested in alternatives. “We want to be known as an educational resource, too.”

But don’t expect to find much in the way of liquid alternative products on the Circle Squared platform. “I believe maybe 5% of the liquid alts ’40 Act funds make sense, and we use those,” Sica says. “But we find flaws in a lot of them. I don’t like the idea of illiquid investments being packaged in a liquid wrapper.”