Five asset management companies have joined with SETL and OFI Asset Management as shareholders in IZNES, the blockchain-powered record-keeping platform for mutual funds.
IZNES was launched in 2017 in partnership with four French asset managers with the intention of going into full production in early 2018. Following live runs with OFI, initial participants Arkéa IS, Groupama AM, La Banque Postale AM, La Financière de l’Échiquier and Lyxor AM, have now come onboard as fully paid-up shareholders.
SETL says the collaboration gives IZNES the necessary means and support for the deployment and production phase expected for 2018 in France and in Luxembourg.
For this phase, thirteen new asset management companies officially join the project as contributors to the development of the platform: Allianz GI, Amundi, Aviva Investors, BDL Capital Management, BNP Paribas AM, Candriam Investors Group, La Française, Lazard Frères Gestion, Mandarine Gestion, Natixis AM, Pléiade AM, SMA Groupe and Sycomore AM.
Pierre Davoust, CEO of IZNES, states: "With 20 asset managers, representing together more than 5 trillion EUR of assets under management, IZNES now benefits from a solid market backing and becomes a central market infrastructure. We now focus our efforts on the delivery of the commercial version of IZNES, which will occur this year.”
The investment funds industry is notorious for its convoluted post-trade processes with numerous intermediaries adding time and cost to the transaction lifecycle. Consequently there has been much anticipation about the potential for distributed ledger technology to add much needed efficiency.
Fund processing network Calastone, which is currently migrating its underlying network to a blockchain-based platform, believes that the introduction of the technology has the potential to strip out more than £1.9bn in costs from the current transaction lifecycle.