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Independent Asset Managers need to become polygamous

Independent asset managers shall maintain relationships not only to custodians. Due to disintermediation and distributed ledger technology they will be able to profit from a much broader range of financial assets.

Independent asset managers usually run a very traditional business model, focusing on discretionary asset management. They are very tightly connected to their custodians creating strong dependencies (refer to figure 1 below). Furthermore, they are facing the challenge to set themselves apart from traditional bank service offerings.

New emerging investment opportunities which are accessible whilst bypassing the traditional custodians will allow independent asset managers to set them apart from traditional wealth management.

Independent Asset Managers will become the single point of entry to vast and heterogenous investment opportunities without the need to go via a central control unit such as a traditional bank (refer to figure 2 below). Daimler AG has used blockchain technology to launch a corporate bond covering the entire lifecycle including distribution. But there are much more digital investment opportunities such as P2P lending, ICOs and Cryptocurrency.

Theoretically clients could assemble the investment puzzle themselves but usually they are lacking the knowhow to do so. Furthermore, they do not have the tools to analyse their portfolio holistically. The trusted independent advisors must step in. They will be the helping hand for their clients to navigate through the complexity. The most convenient and efficient way to do so is to hook up to an agnostic platform allowing wealth managers to both access traditional and emerging wealth components and to analyse client portfolios in a holistic, need-oriented and professional manner. There are a few platforms available currently focusing on multi-custody services but are in the starting blocks to broaden the platform to unlock the world of digital assets.


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