Meet Jay Nayak, Director of Fund Investments at Yieldstreet

March 13, 20233 min read
Meet Jay Nayak, Director of Fund Investments at Yieldstreet
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Jay Nayak, Director of Fund Investments, leads sourcing, vetting and management of our Fund Investments. He discusses his prior experience in the institutional space, why he believes now is the prime time for private markets, and his personal approach to investing.

What do you do at Yieldstreet?

I lead the Fund Investments program at Yieldstreet, where we target opportunities to invest in private equity, private credit, and real assets funds led by some of the world’s best private markets investors. This is the strategy we use to bring our investors an opportunity set that has only been accessible by large institutions or ultra high-net-worth investors. Within these funds, investors get exposure to a portfolio of investments that are actively managed by institutional-grade sponsors.

What was your journey here?

I’ve spent a majority of my career advising large, institutional investors around the design of their private equity, private credit, or real assets portfolios and then helping find best-in-class investment opportunities that fit their unique investment objectives. In fact, I started working with institutional investors initially focused on real estate just a week before Lehman Bros. collapsed. I learned a lot through those challenges by seeing what actions investors took which resulted in good or challenged decisions and how top-quality sponsors responded to those market conditions. It directly shaped how I look at markets and consider investment opportunities.

What do you think is the future of private equity/venture capital?

I think conditions are shaping up for a sustained “Golden Age” of private markets investing and, this time, retail investors will lead the way. They have been an exclusive opportunity for far too long, and technology has caught up to bring this opportunity set forward to everyday investors. Layer in the market backdrop,  and new investors are poised to have a very positive experience.

Also, I think we see specialization really shine through. We’ve seen some high-profile sponsors emerge after the global financial crisis and become household names, but I think specialized and nimble sponsors bringing a differentiated perspective or capability to the table will deliver the best returns. It’s our mission to hunt for and uncover these opportunities and share with our investors our conviction in what we’re pursuing.

Why is Yieldstreet for you?

Yieldstreet is a very special place. It’s a true testament to the founders of the business for assembling a world-class roster of athletes and simultaneously cultivating incredible culture through rapid growth. To be sure, everyone has a lot on their plate but I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun on the job.

What’s your personal approach to investing, and how has it changed in the last few years?

Candidly speaking, my personal investing frustrations brought me to Yieldstreet. On a daily basis I would meet with some of the best investors in the world and on a daily basis it was a reminder that I could not invest alongside them. I struggled with the concept that I could help former clients invest over $10B in some really incredible opportunities but couldn’t substantiate that level of conviction through personal action. Looking ahead, private market investments will be a significant portion of my portfolio and I am eager to demonstrate how strongly I believe in the opportunities we pursue by putting my money alongside our investors.