European asset manager Azimut has issued a blockchain-based digital security linked to a portfolio of €5 million ($6m) in loans to SMEs. The Azimut tokens were issued via Desygnate, the digital asset issuance platform from Swiss bank Sygnum.
Azimut has €70 billion ($83bn) in AUM and a market capitalization of €2.7 billion ($3.2bn). The asset manager cited the benefits of digital securities as greater liquidity owing to ease of transfer, the ability to fractionalize ownership, increased transparency, and a reduction in costs.
It sees tokenization as the “democratization” of investing because fractionalization means assets not usually available to private clients can now be purchased. Apart from private clients, the tokens will be sold to alternate credit funds.
“We believe that the scope of the innovation presented today is similar to the one introduced in the 1980s with the first mutual funds,” said Giorgio Medda, Co-CEO and Global Head of Asset Management. “We are exploring new territories that in the not too distant future will revolutionize the asset management industry.”
Azimut itself is also investing in the digital asset sector. Last year Sygnum and Japan’s SBI announced a joint digital asset venture capital fund in which Azimut will participate.
Additionally, the asset manager is launching its own fund, Digital Asset Opportunities RAIF, to invest in cryptocurrencies, digital assets and the equity of fintech or blockchain-driven companies.
According to Sygnum it expects this €5 million securitization to be followed by larger ones. The Swiss bank has previously tokenized its own shares and helped Fine Wine Capital tokenize a portfolio of fine wines.
Update: AUM was corrected from millions to billions.