Capital markets News

$2 trillion asset manager Amundi eyes tokenizing money market funds

fund tokenization italy

The Italian arm of Amundi is keen to be a trailblazer and tokenize money market funds in Europe. Credit Agricole-owned Amundi is one of the top three European asset managers with €1.96 trillion ($2.1tn) assets under management. To put that in context, it manages more than either UBS or BNY Mellon.

“With blockchain, I can distribute the same common funds with a competitive advantage. So, I can envision that Amundi, the largest European manager of euro-denominated money funds, can create the first tokenized fund under Italian law, open and digitally native,” said Gabriele Tavazzani, CEO of Amundi Italy. He was talking at an event held at the Italian Stock Exchange, organized by BlockInvest and Hercle.

He continued, “A fund that I can hold in my wallet, absolutely fungible, which I can not only redeem but also transfer or even use as a means of payment or collateral.”

Tavazzani is keen to be a leader. “Why not start from Italy, why not begin from here and get ahead of the rest of Europe in this field? We have everything we need, the technology, local expertise, and regulations. We should aspire to be the locomotive. I don’t settle for being a passenger on one of the train cars. We should aim to set the market standard,” he added.

Italy’s fund tokenization track record

Italy has already made its mark in tokenization. Alternative asset manager Azimut  has been involved in multiple initiatives since March 2021. More recently,  MedioBanca tokenized investment fund units.

With rising interest rates, money market funds have proven popular. Franklin Templeton has tokenized almost $300 million in US money market funds. In the UK, Abrdn has also tested the waters by tokenizing part of a money market fund on the Hedera public DLT.

Parent Credit Agricole has been active in DLT, but Amundi has been fairly quiet. It has an investment in digital bond issuance firm NowCM.