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Asset management institution Knox receives AFM licence

Knox and blanco

Knox, the wealth and asset management cooperative, has received a licence from the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) to carry out brokerage activities and to act as a custodian institution. This allows Knox to store the assets of clients of wealth and asset managers under AFM supervision. Operating independently from banks in combination with the use of Blanco’s innovative technology makes Knox’s proposition unique for wealth and asset managers. This makes it possible to work much more efficiently and to better manage the constantly increasing costs of legislation and regulation.

Wealth and asset managers independent from custodian banks

Pieter Aartsen, CEO of Knox: The services of the current custodian banks to independent wealth and asset managers are not part of the bank’s core business. Depository banks have wealth and asset management as their core business and are therefore competitors. As a result, they charge independent wealth and asset managers higher fees, innovation is not at the top of the agenda and there is no guarantee of the continuity of these activities.”

According to Aartsen, who was previously a board member at BinckBank, there is plenty of reason for wealth and asset managers to work together: The cost of supervision has risen sharply for wealth and asset managers in recent years, putting constant pressure on margins. By cooperating in Knox, continuity is guaranteed and wealth and asset managers can work more efficiently and cheaply.” The market for independent wealth and asset managers accounts for at least 10 percent of the total market in the Netherlands (estimated at EUR 350 billion), and the market share is growing.

Joost Walgemoed, CEO of fintech company Blanco, previously responsible for wealth and asset manager services at a major custodian bank, conceived and financed the Knox concept: By no longer purchasing individually, as has been common practice for many years, but rather collectively, Knox members can significantly reduce costs and at the same time make the digitisation move cooperatively on a technology platform that combines KYC, portfolio management and securities administration. This is absolutely unique.”

Technology for asset managers

Knox and its members use Blanco’s technology and infrastructure for client management and securities administration. The SaaS platform is aimed at digitally streamlining and removing friction from the wealth and asset management process. Aartsen: Wealth and asset managers, like our members, have to comply with very extensive legislation. This can be time-consuming and costly. Blanco’s platform automates these processes, allowing our members, without each investing in technology, to be compliant and focus on their clients.”

Read the official joint press release here.

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