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Innovation in asset management


Blockchain, the underlying technology of bitcoin, is now drawing significant focus as well as investments from many financial institutions, including asset managers. Given the technology’s potential to both disrupt and enhance processes and systems, many firms are dedicating the resources necessary for understanding blockchain and integrating it into their business.

This article will explore why asset management firms are seeking out opportunities to harness the benefits of blockchain and the key challenges for adopting this technology. Furthermore, it will highlight nearterm practical applications of and approaches to blockchain innovation.

Benefits of blockchain

Blockchain technology, which functions as a shared record or distributed ledger, is highly flexible and has a number of potential use cases within the asset management lifecycle (see Fig.1). Once implemented, it can be used to streamline management of portfolios, speed clearing and settlement of trades, and ease compliance burdens associated with anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC). It can eliminate redundant functions, reduce operational expenses and increase opportunities to enhance the client experience. While hedge fund managers may not use blockchain technology to replace current systems, they will find it can be leveraged to reconcile information across existing platforms or enable new infrastructure for new markets and products. (See Fig.1).

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