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Asset Manager Schroders in Search of Crypto Custodian for Digital Asset Push

source-logo  cryptonews.com 08 June 2023 14:20, UTC

Schroders Plc, an asset management firm with over $900 billion in assets under management, is venturing into crypto and is actively searching for a third-party custodian to support its digital asset expansion.

According to a recent Bloomberg report that cited “people with knowledge of the matter,” one of the candidates shortlisted by Schroders is Zodia Custody Ltd., in which investment bank Standard Chartered holds a majority stake.

Although Schroders is not itself involved in crypto today, the firm gained some indirect exposure last year when it acquired a minority stake in digital asset manager Forteus.

At the time, Schroders expressed its intention to “give clients access to Forteus capabilities where appropriate.”

“New frontier” of finance

Schroders' CEO, Peter Harrison, has emphasized the transformative potential of blockchain technology, referring to it as a "new frontier of technological and financial innovation."

In line with this vision, Schroders stated in its recent annual report that it plans to appoint a new board member with fintech and crypto experience.

Commenting to Bloomberg, a spokesperson for Schroders acknowledged the impact of blockchain technology and expressed the company's interest in understanding the necessary infrastructure to support digital assets.

However, the spokesperson did not comment directly on the search for a crypto custodian, saying only that Schroders is “always researching” different business areas.

Growing number of firms entering crypto

As Schroders embarks on its crypto journey, it joins a growing list of financial institutions entering the crypto space.

However, regulatory scrutiny of the crypto sector has also intensified, with US regulators like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cracking down on everything from compliance issues to outright scams in the space.

In addition to Schroders, major financial services players such as Nasdaq, Fidelity, and BNY Mellon are either operating or developing their own digital asset custodial services, while firms like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan use blockchain technology to improve how traditional financial assets are traded and custodied.