Investment Fund 3.0 to set new bar for efficiency and customer focus

[For immediate release: Thurs 7 July]

The funds industry is on the verge of a major technological transformation, according to the latest report from the Investment Association (IA). Launched at the IA’s Annual Conference, the report, ‘Investing for the future: three potential paths for a tech-powered UK fund industry’, outlines a vision of the ‘Investment Fund 3.0’ built on technological innovation, a forward-looking regulatory framework, and improved engagement with consumers.  

At the heart of the vision for Investment Fund 3.0 will likely be the increasing adoption of tokenisation, which will ultimately reduce costs for consumers and improve efficiency in the delivery of funds, through quicker settlement and improved transparency of transactions. Tokenisation may also broaden the assets held within a fund by increasing access to private markets and illiquid assets. The IA is calling on the government and FCA to create a taskforce to harness the benefits of decentralised finance, and to work at pace to establish a framework for tokenised funds to operate in the UK. 

The report also identifies a potential role for native digital assets in the funds of the future. This would be dependent on new regulation, with the IA proposing the establishment of regulated routes for native digital asset exposure, and an assessment of the eligibility of cryptoassets within UCITS and domestic funds for well-diversified portfolios. Recent market volatility highlights the importance of defining the ‘rules of the road’ for cryptoassets, which will help mitigate the risk of loss and harm to consumers and ensure an appropriate regulatory perimeter.  

For consumers, the future fund landscape would offer more engagement and customisation, while maintaining important consumer protections. This could include the provision of a greater variety of portfolios tailored to the specific needs of individual investors and a wider range of financial advice services to address the current advice gap in the UK. The IA also recommends the regulator and industry work together to roll out of the next generation of digital information provision and disclosure to consumers, such as KIIDs and reporting. 

Chris Cummings, Chief Executive of the Investment Association, said:  

“The investment management industry has a vital role in helping people provide for their futures into old age. With the ever-quickening pace of technological change, the investment management industry, regulator and policy makers must work together to drive forward innovation without delay. Greater innovation will not only boost the overall competitiveness of the UK funds industry, but will improve the cost, efficiency and quality of the investment experience.” 

Notes to Editors:

  • To view the reporthttps://www.theia.org/Investing-for-the-future
  • Tokenised fund - A tokenised fund, which may also be known as a digital fund, a BTF (blockchain-traded fund) or an on-chain fund, is one where shares or units in the fund are digitally represented and can be traded and recorded on a distributed ledger. It uses code to mimic the functionalities of a traditional fund and replaces shares or units with tokens. 
  • Digital assets - A digital asset is a digital representation of value or contractual rights that can be transferred, stored or traded electronically, and which may (though not necessarily) utilise cryptography, distributed ledger technology, or similar technology. Different jurisdictions employ slightly different terminology, but generally the terms ‘token’ and ‘cryptoasset’ are used interchangeably. A ‘native’ digital asset is one that originated or is solely available within the digital world (for example a stablecoin or cryptocurrency), as opposed to a digitised traditional asset (a tokenised company share). 

For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Senior Communications Manager: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

Arianna Schardt, Communications Executive: [email protected]

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 270 members manage £9.4 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 114,000 jobs across the UK.
  • Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.
  • Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:
    • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity
    • Help people achieve their financial aspirations
    • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older
    • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.
  • The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.
  • The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages over a third (37%) of all assets managed in Europe.