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 organizational 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, expected to significantly outgrow traditional asset products,” Thorsten Michalik, member of the DWS Executive Board and head of Coverage EMEA & APAC, in a message to staff announcing the project. “Thanks to the valuable work of many colleagues, we already have a significant footprint in the market. We look forward to seizing the opportunities of this business.”
According to a Bain analysis from November 2017, assets on fund platforms are expected to grow by about 20 percent 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 EUR 100 billion 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 - the asset manager’s 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.
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DWS Group GmbH & Co. KGaA (DWS) is one of the world's leading asset managers with EUR700bn of assets under management (as of 31 Dec 2017). Building on more than 60 years of experience and a reputation for excellence in Germany and across Europe, DWS has come to be recognized by clients globally as a trusted source for integrated investment solutions, stability and innovation across a full spectrum of investment disciplines.
We offer individuals and institutions access to our strong investment capabilities across all major asset classes and solutions aligned to growth trends. Our diverse expertise in Active, Passive and Alternatives asset management – as well as our deep environmental, social and governance focus – complement each other when creating targeted solutions for our clients. Our expertise and on-the-ground-knowledge of our economists, research analysts and investment professionals are brought together in one consistent global CIO View, which guides our strategic investment approach.
DWS wants to innovate and shape the future of investing: with staff from 35 nationalities, speaking more than 75 languages rooted in 22 countries, we are local while being one global team.