Capital markets News

Northern Trust survey: 17% of asset managers consider adding digital assets

northern trust

Northern Trust surveyed asset management executives, finding a strong interest in digital assets. Almost a third are already invested in the asset class. Another 32% plan to support new asset classes. Of that group 54% are eyeing digital assets, translating to 17% overall. In other words, if the investment managers follow through on their plans, the proportion of assets managers invested in the asset class would increase from 32% to 49%.

These are not small asset managers. Of the 300 survey respondents, 90% manage more than $10 billion, with half managing north of $100 billion.

“It is not surprising that digital assets are increasing and there is a shift towards longer-term investment in digital assets versus more short-term gains that we saw two years ago,” said Caroline Higgins, Head of Global Fund Services Northern Trust, Asia Pacific.

Northern Trust itself has been involved in the blockchain sector for years. It’s one of the world’s largest global custodians, with $16.5 trillion in assets under custody. In 2020 it partnered with Standard Chartered as a minority investor to launch a digital asset custody solution Zodia Custody. Even earlier than that, in 2018 it developed a blockchain administration system for the private equity sector.

During 2022 Northern Trust created a  Digital Assets and Financial Markets team, which last year unveiled a DLT workflow solution connecting institutions to carbon credit projects.