Schroders has taken a strategic minority stake in blockchain and digital asset manager Forteus, in a move that could see the firm offer tokenised funds, reports International Investment sister publication Investment Week.

Forteus will offer investment solutions in the digital asset space such as customised portfolios of external managers, yield generation, actively managed thematic portfolios and, over the long term, tokenisation. Schroders said that once available, it will allow clients access to the firm's capabilities.

Schroders has made several acquisitions in recent years, such as buying a 75% stake in Greencoat Capital, but this deal is the firm's first venture into blockchain.

The firm said that it had made the investment "in order to support its ongoing education and research in this sector and to develop investment solutions for the benefit of its clients". It has previously invested in various fintech start-ups via its Cobalt programme.

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Forteus is the asset management arm of the Numeus Group, a digital asset investment firm led by Nobel Gulati. Gideon Berger is currently non-executive chairman of Forteus, and was formerly co-CIO of Blackstone Alternative Asset Management. The firm is based in Zug, Switzerland and also has an office in New York.

Peter Harrison, group CEO of Schroders, said: "Blockchain will be a catalyst for fundamental change within asset management, financial services at large, and many other industries more broadly. It not only has the potential to transform the efficiency of existing solutions but will drive the democratisation of private assets; it represents a new frontier of technological and financial innovation."

Nobel Gulati, Numeus Group CEO, added: "We are very excited to welcome Schroders as a founding investor in Forteus. Together, we will build upon Numeus' expertise in digital assets, technology and quantitative research combined with Schroders' leading brand, vast capabilities in asset management and global distribution. This will enable us to serve investors who up until now have struggled to access robust investment opportunities in this fast-evolving asset class."