Avantgarde launches world’s first institutional grade digital assets platform

Avantgarde launches world’s first institutional grade digital assets platform Duncan is an award-winning editor with more than 20 years experience in journalism. Having launched his tech journalism career as editor of Arabian Computer News in Dubai, he has since edited an array of tech and digital marketing publications, including Computer Business Review, TechWeekEurope, Figaro Digital, Digit and Marketing Gazette.

Avantgarde Finance Group is partnering with Agio Digital, a digital assets and fund services platform, to offer the first ever institutional-grade on-chain crypto products.

Using the platform, it is now possible to set up fully regulated and compliant on-chain funds in a matter of weeks, reducing total expense ratios by more than 80%.

Avantgarde is a provider of tech-enabled investment solutions which facilitate the secure management of digital assets, and embeds purpose-built risk management infrastructure. The firm made a name for itself by providing development services to Enzyme, a non-custodial solution which, through Enzyme vaults, securely automates operational, administrative, compliance and risk management functions for digital assets on-chain.

Agio Fund Services, a subsidiary of Agio Digital, adopts a digital-first approach for fund setup, licensing, NAV calculation, and investor transaction management. The partnership between Avantgarde and Agio emphasises the significance of professional fund administration in navigating regulatory requirements, mitigating operational and legal risks, ensuring compliance, and enhancing transparency and communication with investors in the rapidly evolving DeFi landscape.

Avantgarde and Agio have worked hand in hand over the last year to bridge the gap between institutions and blockchain-based asset management technology by wrapping DeFi vaults running on Enzyme into a fully compliant fund structure. Importantly, these regulated investment funds preserve many of the original values of blockchain: elimination of counterparty risk, the right to self-custody, the provision of much needed transparency to the institutional market, and 24/7 provable and verifiable reporting.

This launch comes as recent research* from Avantgarde highlights that, in comparison to 12 months ago, 78% of institutional investors are more likely to use decentralised finance technology and 62% stated that on-chain asset management is now more attractive. While interest is building, investors are looking for guidance with almost three quarters (71%) of CFOs polled saying investment allocations will be influenced by ‘finding a qualified and experienced DeFi asset manager’.

Mona El Isa, founder and CEO of Avantgarde Finance Group, said: “Through this partnership with Agio, we can launch on-chain funds in a compliant and transparent manner while reducing operational costs and barriers to entry for our customers by more than 80%. Asset management suffers from extremely high barriers to entry today and this partnership changes that, whilst it also opens the door to institutions more familiar with traditional hedge-fund structures to access decentralised finance compliantly, and in a way they are already used to.”

“Agio is the first fund service provider in history to leverage the automation that blockchain can offer to streamline and automate administrative services for digital asset funds with Enzyme. Institutional investors are looking for support and guidance, and together with Agio we are bridging the gap between traditional finance and blockchain-based finance to enable the next trillion dollars of AUM into decentralised finance.”

Brian Jones, CEO of Agio Fund Services, said: “Agio’s strategic partnership with Avantgarde has truly unlocked new possibilities. By pooling our expertise in structuring regulated investment vehicles with their depth of knowledge in asset management, we’ve crafted a platform that truly embraces this new asset class.

“Agio recognizes that many existing digital asset products have been hindered by outdated and expensive models, resulting in a lack of transparency with significant custodial and counterparty risks, which were particularly prevalent since 2022. However, Agio sees an opportunity to address these challenges by harnessing the power of blockchain technology. We are excited to pioneer this initiative with Avantgarde, marking a new era for digital asset investment.”

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