CEO of Azimut Holding Gabriele Blei explains why joining the blockchain ecosystem is an innovation strategy

First known as an underground digital currency, Bitcoin has grown beyond online subcultures to become a competitive asset in the financial market. Based on the technology of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and other safety protocols have migrated to this new system that is prompting the evolution of our current Internet setup to Web 3.0.

In a few words, blockchain is a technology that allows “distributed” registration between different participants in a network (nodes) of economic transactions in a peer-to-peer way, that is, without the use of intermediaries. The distributed ledger implies an “automated” approval process by all nodes, which replaces the role of the sole intermediary as a reliable agent in economic exchange. Some of the benefits brought by blockchain include the fact that transactions are also carried out quickly, safely and with very low cost.

With famous and valuable cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, big players like Azimut Holding, the Italian asset management company that manages capital masses worth 70,000 million euros worldwide, are entering the game to change the international scenario. According to Azimut’s CEO, Gabriele Blei, creating the token AZIM meant a chance for the company to offer the first digital securitization that develops an end-to-end financing solution for small and medium-sized companies, by investment funds and private investors.

In this new configuration, the “illiquid” asset (consisting of a portfolio of loans to Italian SMEs) in its tokenized form can be transferred quickly and efficiently to other investors within the digital market of Azimut partners. One of the companies that have joined Azimut’s ecosystem is Sygnum, a partner that offers the benefits of the supervision of the Swiss supervisory authorities.

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Blei explains that the decision to include Azimut Holdings in the blockchain scenario was rather an investment in innovation, since he considers this an important strategy in any sector. “The world is evolving, habits are changing, and new opportunities are on the horizon,” says the CEO of Azimut, who argues that immobility and resistance to change are not, historically, harbingers of progress and growth. Though change requires sacrifice and risks to be taken, Blei says that this is just a characteristic of a company made up of people who act as entrepreneurs, such as it is the case of Azimut.

For this implementation to work well, Azimut has aligned their own interests with those of the clients through a union agreement that includes more than 2000 people which constitute the reference shareholder with a long-term horizon. “Thanks to this model, we are able to make decisions against the current anticipating the trends that have emerged,” explains Gabriele Blei, who believes that, to stay relevant in the market, companies and individuals need to innovate, otherwise someone else will do it first.

Considering future outcomes, Blei believes that the financial sector will become more complex and increasingly interconnected with companies and savers. “We need to train future generations to understand how finance works. Digitization will make the relationship between investor/client and the world of finance easier and more immediate, but this does not mean that we should abandon the social role that in a sense the asset management industry carries with it,” he explains. Companies like Azimut Holding therefore are the ones who will be responsible to bring private savings closer to the real economy through their networks of financial advisers, managers and innovative and international companies that are part of their ecosystem — and this is something that Blei is already working on.

Disclaimer: This content does not necessarily represent the views of IWB.


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