London, 18 January 2021
Digital Debt Capital Markets Ltd (DDCM or “agora”), announces the appointment of Filippo Mattia Ginanni as its Head of Structured Products and EMTNs. Prior to joining agora, Filippo was Head of Cross Asset Structuring at Mediobanca. Prior to joining Mediobanca, he spent ten years at Deutsche Bank where his last role was Head of the Securitised Retail Products platform (X-Markets) for Italy.
Digital Debt Capital Markets Ltd (DDCM or “agora”), announces the appointment of Sir Peter Estlin as an Advisor.
Digital Debt Capital Markets has closed a second round of funding, raising £4.32m from a group that includes fintech entrepreneur David Rutter and Michael Spencer's private investment group IPGL.
agora, the end-to-end debt capital markets platform being developed by bond market veteran Charlie Berman, has closed a second funding round with support from new investors including David E. Rutter, the founder and chief executive of R3, the company behind the Corda blockchain system on which agora will operate.
LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Debt Capital Markets Ltd (“DDCM”), a UK based techfin company, providing technology to enhance, upgrade and improve communication and processes from a bond’s issuance to repayment at its term announces the closing of its follow-on seed round, raising £4.32mm from a group of individuals and family offices. Strongly supported by the original investor group following on, this second fund raising has attracted significant new and related investors - including IPGL Ltd (Lord Spencer’s private investment group) who led this round of financing and David E. Rutter Founder & CEO of R3, which develops Corda Enterprise, the blockchain software integral to the functioning of the agoraPlatform.
Ben St. Clair
Robert Mackenzie Smith
Charlie Berman: “We have a system that functions with an enormous amount of manual input and constant reconciliation. Interconnectivity between stakeholders is driven by phone calls, emails, emails with attachments, PDFs, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets – very old tech,” says Charlie Berman, who spent more than two decades on sell-side DCM desks. He is now chief executive and co-founder of financial technology firm Agora, which is trying to automate DCM workflows with distributed ledger technology."
When non-tech people think of blockchain, they don’t think of traditional asset classes, they think of cryptocurrencies or other B2C products. That is a mistake; core distributed ledger technology (“DLT”) is now an integral part of the technical development and improvement to client service in the finance industry and B2B space. JP Morgan’s 2019 report on Blockchain indicated that DLT could “transform banks’ business models by providing efficient and resilient information transfer and storage once scale has been achieved.” Furthermore, a Santander report estimates that blockchain technology could save the industry between $15 to $20 billion annually by 2022. Applying this technology provides the industry not only with cost saving opportunities, but also a better product that represents the next innovation in the B2B finance space.
The great benefits of tokenisation within market infrastructure are slowly starting to come to life.
A better understanding of what Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) can do is pervading the financial ecosystem, as real life user cases – both in terms of deals done and new process – show the full potential of this technology.
Charlie Berman: “You cannot expect to just take out the existing market infrastructure players. It is not about taking people out of the process. For DLT to be successful you need the reverse of silos.”
Many feared that the drive to modernise within banks would take a back seat as those in bond markets raced to adapt to remote working during the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, banks appear to be galvanising their efforts to get up to date.
Veteran DCM banker Charlie Berman closes in on first product launch aimed at digitizing processes and workflows along the life of a bond
Charlie Berman: "Our approach is to work with the existing stakeholders to develop solutions that they need and will embrace and adopt… We are starting with SSAs as that’s where innovation begins, closely followed by banks as issuers and ultimately even less frequent issuers will benefit from the improvements.”
Digital Debt Capital Markets (“DDCM” or agora) today announces it has selected enterprise software firm R3 to provide the underlying blockchain technology for DDCM’s agora platform.
Digital Debt Capital Markets (“DDCM” or agora) today announces the appointment of Fabianna Del Canto as its Head of Business Development.
by Tommy Stubbington
\ City veteran Michael Spencer is backing a start-up that promises to smooth the often-unwieldy processes behind the bond market, with a software platform enabling banks and investors to exchange vital data in real time.
agora, the digital debt capital markets platform being developed by bond market veteran Charlie Berman, has closed its initial seed funding round with contributions from a small group of individuals, including Michael Spencer, the founder and former CEO of interdealer broker Icap, which later became Nex Group.
Digital Debt Capital Markets Ltd (FRN: 944793, Registered Address: 42 Mincing Lane, London, EC3R 7AE) is an Appointed Representative of MJ Hudson Advisers Limited, an entity who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 692447; Registered Address: 1 Frederick’s Place, London, EC2R 8AE).
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