DWS has decided to consolidate and grow its digital fund management platform into a vertically integrated business with a dedicated management and front-to-back organisational structure.
The move is part of the company’s digital strategy and will aim to build the platform from a transaction platform to a scalable digital investment platform.
“Fund platform business models are one of the key growth areas in asset management in Europe, and are expected to significantly outgrow traditional asset products,” Thorsten Michalik, member of the DWS Executive Board and head of Coverage EMEA & APAC.
According to a Bain analysis from November 2017, assets on fund platforms are expected to grow by about 20% per annum in the coming years, outpacing expected overall average AuM or ETF market growth.
The new IKS 2.0 will include DWS’s fund management platform IKS, which already services more than 1.5 million clients and has more than €100bn of assets under administration, making it the fifth largest fund platform in Europe. Additionally, DWS’s digital assets WISE – its B2B2C white-label robo advisor solution, Edison – its B2C investment app, as well as DWS Direct – its direct distribution platform, will all become part of IKS 2.0 and will complement the company’s digital distribution proposition.
Kai Bald and Stephan Scholl, both long-tenured managing directors at DWS, will lead IKS 2.0. As co-heads they will have responsibility for the entire IKS 2.0 platform, WISE, Edison, and DWS Direct – including front line, operations as well as technology.
Kai Bald has been running DWS’s Digital business globally as well as the Direct business in EMEA since April 2016 and successfully led the development of the asset manager’s digital strategy and new digital assets such as WISE and Edison.
Stephan Scholl has been responsible for platform management at DWS since 2013 and can draw on his wealth of experience from numerous senior roles such as in Operations and COO. He also helped deliver transformational initiatives such as the global rollout of Aladdin at DWS.