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Revolut will “inevitably” get into asset management, says chair Martin Gilbert

Speaking exclusively at ETF Stream’s ‘ETF Ecosystem Unwrapped’ conference.

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ETF Stream.

Martin Gilbert, the former CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management and chair of Revolut, believes the fintech’s entry into exchange-traded funds (ETF) is ‘inevitable’.

Revolut will have to get into asset management. There are no plans at the moment but you cannot avoid it,” he told audiences at ETF Stream’s ‘ETF Ecosystem Unwrapped’ virtual conference last week.

“ETFs would be an ideal product to offer, we'd have to go in with the low-cost option."

To date, Revolut offers DIY stock trading through its partnership with DriveWealth, crypto trading, commodities like gold and silver, and savings accounts, but it has yet to offer ETFs, investment funds or wealth management services.

"As the next generation inherit money, they will definitely not go to the incumbents. There will be a massive move to the Revoluts of this world. If we went into asset management, we would be a serious player in the market."

When asked about why challenger wealth and asset managers like Nutmeg have yet failed to crack this largely traditional market, Gilbert said the issue came down to timing.

"The whole fintech business is built around attacking the soft underbelly of banks. But why have they not done better in the wealth space? They may do better as people in this country realise they need to look after their own wealth more. Nutmeg was probably too early."

He also noted that crypto trading had “helped Revolut through the crisis” with “very strong” trading throughout the past year.

Gilbert’s comments come as Revolut gears up for a huge US expansion over the next six months, with 300 new hires in Dallas and the goal of reaching 1m US customers by early 2022.

As well as the US, Revolut is also in the midst of a “multi-million-pound” Indian expansion under new India CEO Paroma Chatterjee.

ETF Stream is the sister publication of AltFi.

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