Investment management firm abrdn (LON: ABDN) has reportedly become the largest external shareholder in the United Kingdom’s “first” regulated digital securities exchange, Archax.
Terms of the transaction have not been shared publicly.
Archax was established around 4 years ago in order to offer access to institutional investors to blockchain or DLT-enabled digital assets, serving as a bridge to traditional capital markets.
As noted in the update, it’s the first and “only” digital securities exchange that has obtained approval from the FCA with permissions including activities that involve trading, custody and brokerage (and plans to launch later in 2022).
Stephen Bird, CEO at abrdn, stated:
“Blockchain technologies are inevitably going to form a big part of the future of financial markets. There is the potential to offer greater transparency, greater speed and less trading friction by using these nascent digital technologies.”
Abrdn intends to use Archax as a channel through which investors may gain access to various investment opportunities via digital securities, link up with existing offerings in a new way via tokenization and support a shift towards operating efficiencies through the adoption of innovative technologies like blockchain/DLT.
“With Archax, we will have a meaningful footprint in this fast-developing market – which is likely to evolve in a multitude of different ways that are relevant to our core businesses.”
Despite the challenges presented by the crypto bear market, fund managers are planning to get in on the nascent sector. This past week, BlackRock entered a partnership with Coinbase to provide digital assets to institutional clients (starting with Bitcoin).
As covered in October 2021, Abrdn had acquired investing insights platform Finimize, a company that empowers retail investors to make informed investment-related decisions.
Finimize has more than 1 million subscribers for its daily newsletter and approximately 40,000 premium subscribers. It aims to make investing more accessible and digestible for customers.
The deal with Abrdn will enable Finimize to take advantage of the Group’s international network of partners and operational infrastructure.
Abrdn will also utilize the technology company’s content delivery approach, editorial and content skills as well as insights into its engaged investor community.
Finimize will operate as an independent entity/brand insights platform, and its Chief Executive Max Rofagha will be joining Abrdn’s leadership team.