FNZ provides blockchain tech for impact investing platform

Platform technology provider FNZ has supplied the blockchain system powering The Big Issue’s new impact investment platform.

The Big Exchange platform will offer funds from fund managers, including Aberdeen Standard Investments Columbia Threadneedle, Alliance Bernstein and Alquity.

Big Issue Invest says the platform will bring social and environmental funds direct to retail consumer for the first time.

FNZ add Big Issue Invest to a long list of UK-based clients including Standard Life, Aviva, Quilter, Lloyds, Barclays and Santander.

Apart from the above mentioned “founding asset managers”, up to twelve firms have a chance to become founders, who will have “exclusive rights in the first year to market their impact funds and help shape The Big Exchange,” according to a statement from Big Issue Invest.

ASI global head of distribution Campbell Flemming says due to overwhelming interest the group is close to closing the initial launch period. It has already raised £1 million in funding from major institutions.

The Big Exchange and The Big Issue Group chairman Nigel Kershaw says: “The Big Exchange follows the same principles as The Big Issue and its co-founder Lord John Bird of a hand up, not a hand out.

“A mission-driven business that is more effective and sustainable because it is not a charity. It will help millions of people to help each other build a better society. That is huge.”

Big Issue Invest claims funds will be offered at a price which will be among the lowest in the market and will allow investors to invest in line their beliefs, matched to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Emma Bickerstaffe, ex HSBC UK head of strategy, is at the helm of launch team. She says: “The aim is to offer 30 – 40 quality impact funds via the platform from day one. Over the first five years we believe The Big Exchange will become the go-to platform for retail impact investors and attract around £3bn of assets.”

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