Peter Harrison, Schroders
Schroders acquires stake in digital assets firm Forteus
Yet another deal confirms institutional investors' widening interest in blockchain technology.
Another established institutional investor has stepped into the world of blockchain, with Schroders taking a stake in Forteus, a Switzerland-based digital asset-focused asset manager.
Schroders said the deal forms part of its wider strategy to develop its expertise within the sector as well as its future plans for implementing “tokenisation”.
Tokenization is a type of solution that divides the ownership of an asset, such as a piece of real estate or art, into digital tokens.
Much like a casino chip, a token is a representation of a “real” store of value.
The exact size of the deal was undisclosed, other than it was a minority stake.
Forteus, founded in just 2021, says it is set to offer customised portfolios of external managers, yield generation, and actively managed thematic portfolios.
Schroders said it will offer these capabilities to its own clients once they are fully rolled out.
Forteus resides in the Swiss town of Zug, which has been dubbed as a “Crypto Valley” by Swiss marketers and apparently has over 433 start-ups in the space, half of the country's overall total.
The firm's senior leadership team includes Cyrill Tröndle, the former CEO of Swiss Crypto Exchange SCX and Nobel Gulati, former CEO of Two Sigma Advisers
Peter Harrison, group CEO at Schroders commented: “Blockchain will be a catalyst for fundamental change within asset management, financial services at large, and many other industries more broadly."
He added: “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.”
Despite the ongoing "crypto winter", blockchain start-ups raised a record of $9.2bn in the first three months of 2022, according to data from CB Insights.
A prime example of this institutional interest is Silicon Valley VC Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), which announced its fourth crypto fund raised $4.5bn in May.
This isn’t the only asset manager acquisition made by Schroders over the past year, the firm picked up a 75% stake in sustainability-focused investment manager Greencoat Capital in April of this year.