CGP: Options for every profile
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The linchpin of investment in France, wealth management advisers (CGPs) are still few and far between in offering investment in digital assets, but their battalion is set to grow with the institutionalisation of bitcoin as a new asset class.
"CGPs are going to be forced to get involved when the market starts to take off again," says François Laviale, managing partner at Alphacap Digital Assets, a regulated investment platform aimed at CGPs and family offices.You don't necessarily need to have strong convictions about this asset class, but if they don't get involved, they will lose as much assets", he insists.
For many advisers, the subject is sometimes difficult to get to grips with because of a lack of knowledge on the subject. "One of our missions is to educate this profession so that they have all the information they need to help their customers invest without risk," stresses Nicolas Louvet, CEO of Coinhouse, a long-standing player in France. But to win them over, you have to speak the same language, and that starts with remuneration.
Management mandates rather than retrocessions
Preferred financial advisers are more encouraged to work with the tried and tested life insurance model, on which they receive retrocessions. While this model is still not widely used by regulated platforms offering services based on digital assets (PSANs), it is nevertheless offered by certain players such as Alphacap, Tilvest and RUFIJI Capital. "As assets under management are still limited, IFAs are most often remunerated via entry and management fees," says Laurent Ovion, director of innovation at DLPK Group, which offers services to IFAs and has had a partnership with Coinhouse since 2022.
The other difficulty noted is the fact that IFAs are losing control of their clients' assets under management.
"Most of the time, platforms will offer a management mandate," notes François Laviale, "but many CGPs are turned off by this model because they no longer control the entire chain.In his view, "this model is aimed at those who have a close relationship of trust with their clients, such as family offices, which are more inclined to take assets out of their hands".
To date, companies registered as PSANs with the AMF are the main providers of services for independent asset managers. Some are dedicated exclusively to independent asset managers and family offices, such as Tilvest, Qwarks, Alphacap and the newcomer RUFIJI (which offers highly dynamic investment management). But this is not the only solution.
Other products than direct purchase of digital assets
For CGPs who dread the subject of custody and intermediation by PSAN platforms, there are other options. "There is a plethora of solutions for gaining exposure to digital assets, including sector funds, private equity funds, ETPs and so on. For the industry, the challenge is to raise awareness of its products and, above all, to educate asset managers, who often find themselves without a solution when their clients make a request for digital assets.Addressing IFAs is a real business, as they are a clientele with specific needs (transparency on the locality of funds and their use, transparency on fees, regulatory education, quality of customer service)," notes François Laviale of Alphacap, a subsidiary of Mata Capital (€2 billion under management). "If necessary, we are able to lend one of our managers to spend time with a CGP client," he declares.
While we await the arrival of CGPs, which few doubt because of the renewed attractiveness of digital assets, many private banks and familly offices have taken the plunge. "The subject is more obvious with private banks and family offices, because when a client makes a request it is essential to know how to respond," concludes Marina Beaudean, in charge of France and Benelux for 21Shares, one of the largest issuers of ETPs.