On this month’s Better Know A Yieldstreet Team Member, learn about Nicholas Paidas, who is the Manager of Originations at Yieldstreet. In addition to his, and his team’s, role as the first line of defense for Yieldstreet investors, Nicholas gets into the nitty gritty about what he looks for with our investing partners and why coming to Yieldstreet was one of his best career decisions:
How did you get started in the originations space?
I’ve been involved in the alternative investment space, as well as sales and trading since I was in undergrad. When I was interning during the summer of my sophomore and junior years, my manager, and now mentor and close friend, in the capital markets arena encouraged me to eschew a traditional path and do something different – which is when I gravitated towards sales and origination in alts. Since joining Yieldstreet, I’ve been able to gain experience across multiple different asset classes from commercial real estate, to litigation finance, to private credit.
What’s your overarching philosophy for looking at and considering these deals?
I think of the originations team as the first line of defense for our investor base. We’re out in the field taking inbounds, as well as going outbound to find and vet the partners and transactions that our investors see on the platform. More than anything, we look for track record and experience within a specific industry or asset class — the opportunity for riches in the niches, as we like to say.
We also often like to have capital contribution from these partners in the deals they’re trying to facilitate with us. Today, when you go onto the Yieldstreet platform, you’re not going to see many startups, new businesses, or teams coming into new spaces that they don’t have experience with. We also look at deal flow, and how Yieldstreet might help the partner expand their growth using Yieldstreet, providing a potential capital multiplier effect to their business. We review the total investment amount, gross yields, and LTVs to understand where our investment sits in the capital stack, the securibility of the underlying collateral, investment risks and parameters, as well as the duration.
How do you think about investor appetite on the platform?
In addition to the above criteria, we’re always looking for homogeneous, repeatable, transactions so our investors can know who they’re investing with, and allow our origination partners to help build a brand and tell their story on our platform.
For example, many of our investors in commercial real estate bridge loans know our partner Avatar — we’ve done a lot of deals with them that more or less fit one type of profile, and we try to duplicate that with other origination partners. We believe having consistent, repeatable partners is an important step towards our sustained growth.
Where do you see Yieldstreet in the next few years?
From a macro perspective, I see Yieldstreet being the one-stop shop for alternative investments for both accredited and non accredited investors, as well as the platform originators can call when in need of capital.
We are the only platform in the marketplace that offers multifaceted solutions and multi-product solutions for our investors. Second to that, we also have warehousing facilities that allow us to make execution decisions on Yieldstreet’s balance sheet, therefore, Yieldstreet is often taking on certain risks before others. Many platforms in the market today are crowdfunding platforms taking a fee to match borrower and the investor. I look at Yieldstreet as a distribution platform where Yieldstreet often transacts on the investment first before we offer it to our investors.
Long term view, I see Yieldstreet being a major access point or hub for investors to feel the true democratization of Wall Street, with an opportunity of getting in and having the ability to access hedge funds, private equity firms, other general partners at a lower dollar investment basis than what a current GP is offering today. For example, if a minimum investment check amount was $250,000, $500,000, or $1M for an investment fund, we have brought the check sizes down to $40,000 to $50,000. We’ve made notable strides, and we’re in the infancy stages of seeing what the true power of our platform could be for investors.
What was your biggest accomplishment?
Corny but honest — I’m happy that I met Michael Weisz when I did. I sent him a note and I said, “Hey, I want to come work for you” after I met him about a year before. I thought Yieldstreet was an interesting concept, but coming here has opened up a world of opportunity and I would say taking that risk has been my number one success — not only for my professional development, but from a knowledge standpoint, and how it’s led to this incredible opportunity to work with experienced people.
What else do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I try to be as active as possible. I like to run, work out, go to the beach, and golf. I’m a big rugby fan as well. I also enjoy play time with my mini-bernedoodle, who is a great dog.
Yieldstreet provides access to alternative investments previously reserved only for institutions and the ultra-wealthy. Our mission is to help millions of people generate $3 billion of income outside the traditional public markets by 2025. We are committed to making financial products more inclusive by creating a modern investment portfolio.