Asset management giant Schroders announced it had snapped up a minority stake in digital asset manager Forteus today as it explores the potential of offering tokenised funds to investors.
FTSE-100 Schroders, which manages around £732bn for investors, said it had chosen to invest in the firm to “harness the transformational benefits that blockchain can bring to the asset management industry” and develop its “tokenisation strategy”.
The Zurich based asset manager offers a range of investment solutions which span customised portfolios of external managers, yield generation, actively managed thematic portfolios and, over the long term, tokenisation.
Tokenised funds – which may also be known as a digital fund or a blockchain-traded fund – is one where shares or units in the fund are digitally represented and can be traded and recorded on a distributed ledger.
Group boss of Schroders Peter Harrison said that blockchain will be a “catalyst for fundamental change within asset management, financial services at large”.
“It not only has the potential to transform the efficiency of existing solutions but will drive the democratisation of private assets; it represents a new frontier of technological and financial innovation,” he said.
The deal marks Schroders first foray into digital assets and comes after industry body the Investment association lobbied ministers last month to approve plans for ‘Fund 3.0’ based on tokenisation.
The IA is now pushing ministers and the Financial Conduct Authority to create a taskforce to harness the benefits of decentralised finance – a financial ecosystem based on blockchain technology – and to establish regulation for tokenised funds to operate in the UK.