We sat down with the newest advisory board member, Wolfram Peters, to discuss his role at ScalingFunds. Wolfram is a physicist and has worked many years as a management consultant at McKinsey. His last position was the global CRO at Allianz Global Investor. As a senior risk executive, he aimed to understand and manage both the risks you have to mitigate and those you should consciously take to run and grow your business. This thinking shaped his perspective on innovation: Innovation through new technologies is inherently risky, but not innovating is the far bigger risk.
I like the combination of the immediate and highly relevant value proposition of automation and streamlining all investor interaction for real asset funds with the mid term vision of using blockchain to revamp and drastically simplify the entire process of investing in real assets.
In times of low yields and the hunt for diversification, investors are looking beyond traditional liquid investments for additional and uncorrelated sources of return. Real assets are an important part of that, but access to investing into real assets is complex and currently still mainly available to large investors. One reason is that Investment funds are a highly regulated segment. Rightfully so, but that makes innovation slow and complex, also because you still have national specifics in Europe. In addition, the fund industry is strongly relying on service providers for many back-office processes. That means that for many technological innovations in that area you need to orchestrate different types of players, which is another challenge.
In the coming years the fund industry will go through fundamental changes. Cost pressure and beginning industry consolidation are already here, but digitalization will take the speed of change to a different level. For established players, digitalization is a threat and an opportunity at the same time. A threat, because investors will have easy access to more and more different ways to invest their money, thus competition will increase. An opportunity because technology can help today’s fund industry to lower costs and to develop new services, suitable for new distribution channels. ScalingFunds can make an important contribution in the area of making real assets investable. Its products will help to lower costs and become more efficient, but also to develop new investment opportunities that provide easier access to real assets for a broader investor base.
I want to work with the great team at ScalingFunds to help them to develop their product and their client base and thus to make a significant contribution to the transition of the fund industry in the real asset sector.
I believe alternative investments will be available to a much broader investor base and will be a standard part of a typical asset allocation. Technology like blockchain will have helped to make both buying shares and selling shares easier, faster and safer, thus allowing secondary market liquidity to develop for an asset class that is rather illiquid as of today.