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Socially Responsible Investment Strategies with Richard Beleutz at Air Asset Management

Rich Beleutz is the CEO of AIR Asset Management, a rapidly growing hedge fund management firm from Chicago. The firm specializes in longevity-linked investments such as life settlements and annuities and has consistently produced attractive double-digit annual returns that are largely uncorrelated to traditional asset classes and equity markets.

"I started as a student of the financial planning business and evolved to a student of capital markets. My passion for the intellectual side of the business drew me there, and what attracted me to develop interesting products like Life Settlements.

One project in South America involves the purchase of a large portion of the Amazon Forest. Because it removes so much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year, it already generates a large number of carbon credits for the region as a whole.

What made me immediately interested in carbon credits was a combination of several things. There was the growing importance of climate change and the belief that we as a species must take action in response to it. Such as climate change prevention, traveling into an area where the environmental repercussions would be devastating for Earth's biosphere. It has been a topic that I've heard about since I was old enough to even go to school. It's been relevant for my entire life. It's always been in the background.

As a venture capitalist, you're always on the lookout for new opportunities to invest in companies. Recent paradigm shifts have given rise to early-stage innovation, which includes access to proprietary information or data. This new trend was brought to my attention a couple of months ago during the UN Climate Change Conferences asking governments to privatize decarbonization. Essentially accelerating the phasing out of coal and also curtailing deforestation.

Investors, governments, and corporations are on the lookout for high-quality projects that will help the United Nations achieve its set of sustainable development goals. If we give to these communities, we help build medical clinics, improve schools and teach them sustainable farming and fishing techniques. As a result of these types of programs, more people will be aware of deforestation, they will be better educated, and their lives will be improved. Everything adds value to both our credit and the counties in which we operate."

My career as a financial advisor began at what is now Ameriprise. It was a 10-year journey, and in the end, I was a certified financial planner running a platinum team practice. I had a wonderful experience doing financial planning, asset management, and I got into the world of insurance.

I started Alternative Investment Resources in 2004. Back then, we were more of a capital raiser. We did placement agent work working with hedge funds and we got into investment banking. In 2006, I entered the life settlement longevity business, which focused on our asset management business. I fell in love with the asset class and went on to launch several businesses in the space, including a brokerage, a hedge fund, and a life expectancy company. Then came the credit crisis.

This prompted me to go back to the capital raising business where I met Jose Garcia of Carlisle, and we immediately hit it off. We started to make some deals and began working together. Then, by early 2014 he approached me and said that the timing was ideal for a comeback. I agreed, and by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, Air Asset Management was born.

There are over 20 trillion in-force policies in the US, and some have a senior life settlements market with baby boomers retiring. We sourced and developed investment strategies that were socially responsible to deliver double-digit returns. It was an opportunity that we saw to satisfy investor's appetites, especially since the volume of the product was certainly there."

Air Asset Management Logo

Richard Beleutz, Founder and CEO

773 - 230 - 2759

AIR Asset Management is a rapidly growing hedge fund management firm based in downtown Chicago. As an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor, AIRAM provides qualified investors with unique growth opportunities in longevity-linked investments such as life settlements and annuities. Our objective as a firm is to offer attractive risk-adjusted returns that are largely uncorrelated to traditional asset classes and equity markets. We are a strong believer in socially responsible investment strategies, and we promote these efforts through our voluntary membership in the Principles for Responsible Investment.

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