Delighted to be here, and thanks to the Hex Trust Team for such a warm welcome. I’ve been hacking capital markets for over 28 years, starting in traditional asset management, shifting to alternatives, and then graduating to principal investing. Along the way, I worked for both global finserv enterprises and early-stage startups in crypto, healthtech, fintech and managed marketplaces. I’ve built platform businesses in emerging markets, developed strategic partnerships across Asia and invested in some of the world’s best (and worst!) financial services and technology companies. And have the scars to prove it.
As CFO, my daily responsibilities are split into four buckets: financial planning, accounting, strategy & operations and corporate development/M&A. The challenge is to stay focused on our cashflows and prioritize the allocation of that cash to promote growth. Fortunately, I am surrounded by an excellent team of finance pros in Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai and the Bahamas that ensure Hex Trust’s finances and investors’ interests are closely monitored and well managed around the globe 24/7.
As an early investor in tech and emerging markets, I partnered closely with my custodians to ensure that investors’ assets were protected and segregated. Those custodians grew to become multi-trillion-dollar AUC businesses. We are at the same early phase of growth for Hex Trust and digital assets today. With the complexity inherent in these markets, a quality custodian like Hex Trust is more important than ever. With its dynamic leadership, I also felt I could help the company grow across new markets by serving as a strategic partner to TradFi and DeFi enterprises integrating digital assets into their operations.
I’m drawn to innovation, passion and non-consensus thinking, and the digital assets ecosystem delivers on all of that! As we move to web3 and Metaverse platforms, digital assets and custody will serve as the backbone of the new payments and finserv infrastructure. As a human being, I need to maintain flexibility, an open mind and a willingness to learn. As an investor, I need to stay on the bleeding edge of financial markets' innovation. Working with digital assets satisfies both needs.
I actually see more similarities than differences as the two worlds merge. Early developments in asset management and IB were driven by innovation to provide investors and clients with more opportunities to gain exposure to multi-strat/multi-asset class offerings that exhibited better and less correlated returns. Most grizzled veterans like myself remember the resistance we met from institutional investors when pitching “new and crazy” asset classes like emerging markets, hedge funds, private equity, private credit and venture capital. Why the same institutions that benefited greatly from past finserv innovation are now reluctant to engage in digital assets remains a mystery to me.
At a professional level, nothing excites me more than the creativity and passion permeating every facet of the industry – every convention is examined and stress-tested. New and exciting innovations occur daily. Not all are good, but most are necessary for growth. At a personal level, it’s the empathy, pioneer spirit and great sense of humor exhibited by my fellow blockchain adventurers. They are smart, irreverent and really funny. I’m also encouraged that despite market participants’ repeated best efforts to self-destruct, the technology held up well against human stupidity.
I’m a Greek, so it has to be about food or wine. I fancy myself as a world-class barbeque-r on both slow cookers and grills. The reality is that my family and guests are too nice (and usually too hungry) to criticize my output, so my fantasy lives on.
Morning person or night owl?
Morning person in Asia and a Night owl in Europe
Favourite sports teams?
HK’s Bay Area Dragons basketball and Greece’s Olympiakos football
Dogs or cats?
Love dogs and respect cats
Sweet or salted popcorn?
Salty popcorn mixed with peanut M&Ms
Coffee or tea?
What scares you?
Being There, Peter Sellers at his best
Favourite travel destination?
Greek islands, no competition
What would you eat for your last meal?
A communion wafer, to hedge my corporeal bets…
Bitcoin or Ethereum?