Q&A Interview Martin Graham, Chairman, Fineqia International Inc.
Q: Investorideas.com Martin, can you give our listeners a short history of your background in the financial services industry and how that led to your current position as Chairman at Fineqia?
A:Martin Graham, Chairman After graduating from the London School of Economics, I started my career as a fund manager before moving into investment banking. I held a number of senior positions including Global Head of European Equities at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson. Throughout my career, I had an active involvement in raising money for technology companies. In 2002, I was approached to take up the newly created role of Director of Markets at the London Stock Exchange. I had direct responsibility for 75% of group revenues including all primary and secondary market activities. In a 4 year period we managed to quintuple daily trading volumes in a mature market, through a strategy of transforming market efficiency utilizing a combination of applying the latest exchange technologies, creating a truly international client network and promoting primary markets. I built the AIM market from an insignificant UK small cap market into the world's leading growth market, raising more money than NASDAQ for a 3 year period from 2004.
Since 2010, when I decided to pursue wider, more entrepreneurial and charitable interests, I have been involved in a number of successful startups in the financial services industry, all seeking to deliver more efficient solutions through the application of technology. I became Chairman of FINEQIA at the start of 2017 with a vision to completely change the way debt financing took place. I have also fulfilled my dream of producing a high quality wine in Italy.
Q: Investorideas.com The Company's original technology was an investing platform for both companies and investors. Can you give us a brief explanation of how it works and how it has evolved over the last few years with crowd funding and now blockchain and cryptocurrency disrupting the capital markets?
A:Martin Graham, Chairman FINEQIA originated as a specialist debt finance/crowd funding platform with the simple concept of enabling providers and consumers of risk capital, especially debt, to come together in the most transparent and cost effective way. However, as a board we rapidly concluded that crowd funding alone was not the ultimate solution for debt financing and that blockchain and distributed ledger technologies were going to change the world. Hence, we have moved to a strategy of building a platform which utilises blockchain to transform the efficiency of debt financing which will ultimately significantly increase market size, as well as have a huge impact on the cost of capital for companies using our platform.
Capital markets contain huge inefficiencies which are, in effect, a tax on investors and companies, so I think blockchain technologies will represent a real force for change, although we cannot underestimate the vested interests which have a strong motivation to preserve existing inefficiencies. FINEQIA, as well as building a blockchain debt platform, has and will continue to make investments in key providers of blockchain infrastructure, including in the insurance industry, which in my view is horrendously inefficient.
Q: Investorideas.com With your background at the LSE, how do you see blockchain technology changing stock exchanges globally when you see NASDAQ implementing it and embracing it as well as Borsa Italiana, part of London Stock Exchange Group, teaming up with IBM to build a blockchain solution digitizing the issuance of securities for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Europe?
A:Martin Graham, Chairman Exchanges can play an important role in applying blockchain technologies to the capital raising process and they do enjoy the advantage of having preexisting clients networks and global reputations which should not be underestimated. However, they sometimes suffer from being slow moving, very conservative and utility-like organisations. In addition, some of the plumbing parts of capital markets, where they make very attractive margins, will face a real threat from well implemented blockchain technologies.
Q: Investorideas.com Can you talk about the team at Fineqia International Inc. and the collective expertise you have pooled?
A:Martin Graham, Chairman FINEQIA has a distinct advantage in being able to call upon a unique combination of experience and skills, including having a deep understanding of technology, how capital markets operate, how to build start up businesses, financial strategy and critically, how regulators work. Many new companies have exciting technology but absolutely no idea of how to apply it to markets and create a sustainable business model.
At FINEQIA we have a strong executive team complemented by an experienced board to ensure strategic focus and strong governance supplemented by an Advisory Board comprising genuine global leaders.
Q: Investorideas.com As Chairman, can you share your vision for Fineqia International Inc. short term and long term and how you see blockchain and cryptocurrency playing a key role following the formation of the Blockchain Investment Advisory Group?
A:Martin Graham, Chairman We have a simple vision which is to utilise technology to transform the efficiency of capital markets. In the short term that will comprise of 2 elements: launching the world's leading blockchain-based, specialist debt funding platform and making strategic investments in key infrastructure providers. We will not be limited to blockchain and will utilise whatever technology delivers the client benefits we seek. We are also exploring how to build (with key partners) a properly regulated exchange for cryptocurrencies using our deep-seated markets expertise. I do not believe the way current exchanges in the crypto space, fraught with regulatory and conflict of interest issues, is sustainable as the overall industry requires real liquidity solutions to enable consistent long term growth.
Bio, Martin Graham, Chairman Martin Graham has a notable career in the financial services industry. Between 2003 and 2009, Martin was Head of the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), the sub-market of small and emerging companies at the London Stock Exchange Plc (LSE) where he had direct responsibility for more than $500 million of revenue and 75% of group profit. Martin also served as Director of Markets at the LSE, where he led the exchange's transformational growth strategy focused on driving market efficiency, resulting in a fivefold increase in market size between 2003 and 2008. He was also instrumental in building the LSE's international franchise, which significantly outperformed its main competitors. It is now Europe's largest exchange and the world's third largest after the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market.
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Fineqia International is a listed entity in the Canada (CSE:FNQ), US (FNQQF) and Europe (FNQA.F). Fineqia International outlines the Company's corporate governance, culture, processes and relations by which the Company and its subsidiaries are controlled, directed and governed. Fineqia International oversees and ensures the overall success, planning and growth of the Company and all of its subsidiaries, including its adoption of blockchain technologies. For more information visit https://investors.fineqia.com/news.
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SOURCE Fineqia International Inc.
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