Gabriele Blei (AZIMUT HOLDING): Virtual Assets Can No Longer Be Ignored
Azimut Holding, an Italian company among the largest private equity operators in the world with a capital mass under management of more than 77,000 million euros, has announced the launch of the AZ RAIF Digital Assetsfund with the specific objective of investing in cryptocurrencies, digital assets, ETFs, funds and capital of companies linked to fintech or blockchain. We discussed it with the CEO, Gabriele Blei.
What is the strategic importance of this operation and what is the weight of virtual assets in current finances?
Azimut has always tried to offer innovative investment solutions to its clients. Taking advantage of our speed and flexibility, we can anticipate market trends to the benefit of customers. In addition to the now famous bitcoins, virtual assets are increasingly an element of portfolio innovation and diversification. And now they cannot be ignored because technology will also change the way and the tools in which to invest. With AZ RAIF Digital Asset, we have launched the first fund under Luxembourg law and the second in Europe, which will invest in cryptocurrencies, vitrual assets, ETFs, funds and capital from fintech or blockchain-linked companies. This new opportunity, for now, will be reserved only for professional clients.
What are the advantages of trusting AZ RAIF for investors? (Especially from a risk point of view)
AZ RAIF digital assets will allow exposure to cryptocurrencies in a dynamic, diversified way and as part of an active risk management. The portfolio will be managed to extract profitability from an active allocation to asset subclasses and will give investors the opportunity to participate in the full spectrum of opportunities offered by digital assets, without having to manage the technical and financial complexities typically associated with a new investment instrument.
But the Azimut Group does not stop and also announces the launch of Azimut Direct, a new fintech company dedicated to the real economy, through which the Group, always at the forefront of technological innovation, intends to accelerate the Banca Sintetica project. This is Blei's comment.
The traditional banking model, since the crisis of 2008, has had a regression in taking and assessing of the risks inherent to its activity. This has meant for clients and companies the need to seek access to credit in various ways. In this context, the experience of many fintech companies and the "synthetic bank" project or more commonly called, neo-lending, was born. To put this into practice, we have created alternative closed-end credit funds that collect savings of our clients, similar to what the bank does in attracting deposits, and then bring these closer to the financing needs of companies. In this process, we also use fintech processes which allow us to analyze much more information and be more timely in the delivery of credit.
Why does Azimut want to reiterate that the newco, Azimut Direct, will be aimed at "the real economy"?
Azimut Direct is essential in the development of neo lending that apply fintech tools in the analysis and provision of credit to companies. We can say that Azimut Direct constitutes the bridge, linking private savings to the real economy by providing access to alternative financing. In this sense, through Azimut Direct, we bring fintech and private savings closer to the needs of companies. The market is expanding and the figures prove it: in 2020, the number of SMEs financed through fintech has grown 5 times as well as the stock of loans, exceeding 1,500 million euros. And in a world of zero interest rates, our alternative credit funds aim to generate returns of at least 5%.