Azimut, the Italian asset manager with assets of $82.8 billion (€70 billion), has launched Azimut Token (Azim): the first token for investing in the real economy. The announcement was made at a press conference, together with that of the signing of an agreement in the United States to enter the shareholding of HighPost Capital together with the Bezos and Moross families, to develop a platform and investment vehicles in private equity specialized in the consumer sector.
Returning to the token, the latter was issued through a Security Token Offering (STO) with Azim ID. In detail, the Azimut token was issued in collaboration with Sygnum Bank (Sygnum), the first digital asset bank in the world, authorized by the Swiss and Singapore supervisory bodies, on the Desygnate platform, developed by Sygnum Bank itself. The token is the digital representation of a $5.9 million (€5 million) portfolio of loans to Italian SMEs – originated on the P2P lending platform BorsadelCredito and 90% guaranteed by the Mediocredito Centrale Guarantee Fund (MCC).
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How will the Azimut token bring benefits to capital markets
Azimut Token opens a new frontier in real economy investments and offers new scenarios for asset management where, through the tokenization process, even investments that are usually illiquid, such as those in the private market, can become liquid and immediately transferable thanks to blockchain technology. This new process, which Azimut is the first in Europe to implement on loans to small and medium-sized companies, will also bring direct benefits to capital markets, making them fairer and more efficient, and in the diversification of assets.
In addition, the possibility of splitting the right of ownership of a financial asset (or real as in the case of a property or a work of art), and ensuring its transferability to investors in an immediate way thanks to the activation of distributed ledger technology (DLT), allows to overcome the limits and costs typical of intermediation. Among the important advantages of the use of tokens, in addition to the reduction of costs and transaction times, there is the increase in transparency, the democratization of investments that are not divisible or whose value is often inaccessible to individual investors and the reduction of transaction risks for investors and asset managers.
Azim will be used in the construction of portfolios for the Group’s private clients in Italy through asset management and for alternative credit funds domiciled in Luxembourg and dedicated to professional clients. The token will then be traded within the fully digital platform managed by Sygnum.
Azimut Token reinforces the synthetic bank project announced last January, with which Azimut intends to provide financing to Italian SMEs for $1.4 billion (€1.2 billion) in 2021-2025. Capital will also be raised from the collection of three alternative funds dedicated to Italian clients and various strategies for professional clients on performing and non-performing assets. The synthetic bank also benefits from the Group’s fintech investments, and in particular, Azimut Capital Tech, in partnership with BorsadelCredito (an Italian P2P lending company owned by P101 sgr, Azimut Group and GC Holding) and Azimut Direct, in partnership with Epic.
The issuance of Azimut Token is part of Azimut’s broader digital asset project which, in the coming months, includes the launch of:
Digital Asset Opportunity SCSp: a venture capital fund reserved for professional clients and focused on investments in Series A fintech rounds in Southeast Asia and Europe realized in co-management with Sygnum and SBI, a Japanese asset manager with over $34.5 billion under management and $4.7 billion invested in global private equity;
Digital Asset RAIF: first Italian fund and second in Europe that invests in cryptocurrencies, digital assets and equity of fintech or blockchain-driven companies, already announced last January, and reserved for professional clients.
Giorgio Medda, co-ceo and head of asset management, commented: “We believe that the scope of the innovation presented today is comparable to that introduced with the first mutual funds in the 1980s. We are exploring new territories that in the not too distant future will revolutionize the asset management industry where illiquid assets, sought after for their positive performance, can be made liquid and transferable allowing to achieve a real and democratic portfolio diversification accessible to all investors”.
Gabriele Blei, ceo of Azimut Group, added: “The record results of 2020, with a net profit of 382 million euros and a weighted average net customer performance of +14% in about 2 years, allow us to continue to invest in the evolution of products and services for our customers that confirm how Azimut is also at the forefront of the fintech segment, which will increasingly play a central role for our company.”
Azimut and the real economy
Azimut’s token also fits into the trend of private banking and traditional asset managers proposing illiquid investments to private customers. Recall that the Azimut group had announced in September 2019 an epochal turning point in its industrial strategy, with the aim of investing in private assets at least 10 billion euros in the next 5 years, launching a series of investment vehicles largely dedicated also to the retail public. Also as part of this strategy, this month Azimut and SiamoSoci (manager of the Italian crowdfunding portal Mamacrowd and 25% owned by the Azimut Group itself) launched ALICrowd, the first venture capital Eltif. Azimut has already invested 2.2 billion in the real economy, surpassing the 2 billion target set for the end of 2020. The company, active since 1989, is part of Azimut Holding, which has been listed on the stock exchange since 2004.
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