Being in the first generation to learn web technology at school, he graduated with a BA (Hons) from University of Montreal, achieved an Ebusiness MBA at Institut Léonard de Vinci (Paris) and received a web analytics diploma from University of San Francisco. In 2017, Luc sold his stake in Izberg to focus on Tokeny, a technology solution with the vision of disrupting traditional finance to bring more fairness, transparency, and inclusivity to capital markets.
What is the basic concept of the Tokeny platform? What do you do?
At Tokeny, we provide issuers with the end-to-end solutions to issue, manage and transfer tokenized securities by automating processes and enforcing compliance-by-design requirements. The exchange of value in current financial markets is full of cumbersome systems that include manual and inefficient processes. We bring value to these transactions by automating the servicing and removing friction points in the value chains of security offerings. We have 19 clients across five continents and live use cases across services, equity, funds and the real estate sectors.
What experience do you and your team have in blockchain and finance?
With decades of experience across capital markets, our team brings together in-depth knowledge from the traditional finance world whilst also coupling this with blockchain and technology expertise. As CEO of Tokeny, I have been involved in software solutions since 2012. It was this year I funded my first venture in Modizy, an AI and technology-driven social shopping platform, which I later sold in 2015 to pivot to another technology platform in Izberg, a SaaS solution that is widely recognized as one of the most advanced e-commerce platforms for online marketplaces. In 2017, I sold my stake in Izberg to focus on Tokeny, and we have been developing the solution ever since.
Tokeny CSO, Daniel Coheur, has worked across a range of corporates including Clearstream Banking and brings significant experience in mentoring and funding several successful start ups. COO, Philippe Van Hecke, has over 20 years of experience in the Luxembourg financial market with Clearstream Banking, the Central Bank of Luxembourg and the London Stock Exchange Group. David Pleasance, Board Director, is a Senior Consulting Partner in the Strategic Relationship Management Group of Deloitte where he oversees the client relationships across a number of the firm’s key global accounts. He has over 30 years of experience applying common approaches in a number of industries including energy, industrial & process manufacturing, life science & health care and biotechnology. Our other board members, in Fabrice Croiseaux and Michael Barrell have had significant success in their respective technology and digital businesses.
Why do you think the Security Tokens market has the potential?
Security tokens, or digital securities, will eventually completely revolutionize the way capital markets operate as there are clear benefits that existing processes can benefit from:
- A Global Reach: In traditional securities processes the trust is invoked by local actors, i.e. stock exchanges, lawyers, notaries etc. With digital securities, the trust is brought by the decentralised infrastructure of the blockchain allowing for positions to be registered and accessed on one globally connected network.
- Resilience: The current financial infrastructure consists of many middle men, resulting in potential single points of failure. By definition DLT is one source that every party works from and achieves transactions that operate 24/7/265 days a year and at a much lower cost.
- Speed: Trades can take days to settle, depending on the security and the parties involved. Blockchain allows the time between trading and settlement to be dramatically reduced, if not eliminated. As the trade is the settlement instruction, it reduces the risks of mishandling and transaction errors.
- Transparency: Today each intermediary maintains its own ledger of data, and it’s quite common for the parties’ data to differ quite substantially. on a blockchain infrastructure, all positions can be held on one single global ledger, it potentially allows for full transparency for involved parties.
- Operational Efficiency: The more intermediaries, the more fees that are needed to pay. Blockchain reduces or even eliminates the need for successive layers of reconciliations seen in traditional custody chains. This direct access of issuers to their investors makes corporate actions such as announcements easier to execute.
Can you name a few qualities that set you apart from the competition?
As the market potential for security tokens becomes more and more apparent, a large number of companies ranging from startups to traditional IT development companies are entering the industry. What makes us different is that when we incorporated Tokeny two years ago, we did with the idea of tokenizing financial instruments. Our product is one of the only solutions with customers and concrete use cases across various financial securities. While most of Tokeny’s competitors are writing requirements, our solutions are live and we’re already focussing on delivering the next waves of benefits to the industry.
Our approach to global compliance and identities on-chain also unique. Our issuance platform has predefined workflows and KYC data sets to comply with each project specificities, for example where the issuers and investors are located, what type of instrument is being issued, is it a private or public placement, what type of investors ie accredited and so on. Our token standard, the T-REX (Token for Regulated EXchanges), guarantees these regulations are natively enforced and monitored. As we deploy new projects, we enrich our expertise and understanding of local compliance rules and regulations.
We are also the only company that supports issuers with an end-to-end solution. We focus on the technology side and have solutions that support the compliant issuance of securities, the blockchain solutions to facilitate the ownership transfer and servicing solutions for the ongoing maintenance needed for issuers and investors to manage their assets. Our clients can also benefit from our esteemed network of established close relationships with across legal, advisory and marketing sectors. We can essentially connect our clients with every step they need to issue a compliant security token offering.
What are your plans for the future?
We’re very keen on building our connections within the security token ecosystem. The industry is in its infancy and is building, and we all have a part to play in growing it. We’re very clear that we’re the technology solution involved in the issuance of a STO, and we know our clients need the services of other players such as custodians, law firms, distributors and liquidity providers.
We’re dedicated to building a global network of these partners, with the end goal of helping our clients achieve capital investment.
More specifically, we are particularly keen on building relationships with institutional players and developing our footprint across traditional finance. Of course, the banks have a huge role to play in the future of financial markets. Particularly with the technology switch, as we go from cumbersome and intermediary-heavy processes to automation and fast transaction speeds. Banks and financial institutions can adopt this technology and reap the benefits of lower operational costs and so on. Typically in emerging industries it will be the smaller institutions that adopt technologies and innovate. When they become successful, the larger institutions will take note and will have to adapt. Tokeny is a tech enabler, and we deliver our solutions white label. The companies and institutions that work with us can rapidly gain access to a blockchain issuance solution and benefit from this advancement in technology.
Thank you for the interview!