Over the past decades the share of wealth in non-money assets has significantly increased, with investment into alternative asset classes growing in real-estate, collectables, vehicles and digital assets (such as intellectual property and cryptocurrencies). At the Future of Finance Forum on ‘Beyond Money’, we debated how market participants, regulators and consumers are impacted by the opportunity to invest digitally and how this market – and the concept of 'asset' – is developing. Given the level of expertise of those present, we were able to better analyze and evaluate this increasingly important theme.
As an example, we discussed which asset classes are being digitized and how they represent an opportunity for wealth management ‘Beyond Money’. Participants also considered aspects of technology, liquidity, the link between digital tokens and the underlying assets, and what makes an asset class digitally investable and its market function.
Given UBS's position as a global leader in Financial Services, we were also keen to debate how global banks and connected organizations should participate in current market dynamics, alongside the concept of a ‘total view of wealth’, that could include objective visibility on clients' health, time and education, alongside traditional financial assets.
Throughout the Forum, there was also particular attention paid to the value-chain and the technologies likely to be utilized. Furthermore, we explored the access and advice UBS could potentially offer regarding alternative assets, and with this the potential to broaden the scope of clients able and willing to invest in these asset classes.
Our broad conclusions were that trust, access and advice will likely drive the market, tokenization is happening across a broad range of 'old' and 'new' assets, and there are wide-ranging benefits for Wealth Management clients. We also considered that one major obstacle in true digital investment is securely mapping the token to the underlying asset, and that scalability and liquidity are essential for market growth.
You can watch the keynote from Will Ross of Lazada, in which he provides a great overview of the topic, here, along with videos of some of the other contributors to the forum.
As with previous Future of Finance Forums, the Forum on Beyond Money is followed by a white paper exploring the conclusions we reached in depth – please see the box on the right. Previous white papers from the series can be found using the links below.