Marco Abele wants to enable shared luxury asset ownership
Investors to benefit from value increase as a group, he said
(Machine translation provided by Google and reviewed by Bloomberg editors.)
Marco Abele, the former digital chief of Credit Suisse Group AG, is in "advanced talks" with Allianz Group’s corporate insurance business to win it over as a partner for his new investment platform TEND, he said in an interview with Bloomberg News. His goal is to insure traded assets.
TEND aims to enable wealthy investors to share luxury goods such as race cars, paintings or vineyards, following the example of Uber Technologies Inc. and Airbnb Inc. Investors are to benefit from any value increases as a group and are also able to actually use their assets, such as a luxury car on a race track, Abele said.
The backbone of the platform is the Blockchain technology, which handles everything. Oliver Bussmann, the former IT chief of UBS Group AG, is a strategic consultant to the company.
"We want all the assets traded to be insured and we want to work with Allianz on this," Abele said. Blockchain enables an efficient and transparent processing of insurance premium payments, according to the firm. "Our goal would be a ’pay-as-you-use’ solution - the insurer sees how often the luxury car leaves the garage, for example, and can use that information to set the premiums."
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE confirmed the talks. "At AGCS we are exploring the potential impact of blockchain to combine traditional corporate insurance solutions with innovative technology-backed services," according to Alan Cabello, Innovation Manager and Blockchain Lead at AGCS. "Engaging with startups such as TEND allows us to develop new models of business and respond more quickly to our customer’s current and future needs.”
TEND customers have the ability to check the platform for potential investments. They can also list assets themselves, stating what proportion they want to sell and how many co-owners they would like to have. The company handles assessment, administration and maintenance of assets with local partners, such as car dealerships.
Abele wants to start in Switzerland, where first users are already testing the platform. By December, TEND should be accessible for everyone there, he said. Two to three markets are supposed to be added each year. Customers must pay an annual membership fee of 500 Swiss francs.
Abele is not the only ex-banker working in Switzerland on blockchain and related crypto-currencies. Jan Brzezek, who previously was with UBS Group AG, launched a digital currency fund, for example. The Swiss canton of Zug has developed into a global center for crypto-infrastructure in recent years.
To finance TEND, Abele is selling shares in his company until the end of February. They are designed like so-called participation certificates under Swiss law, he said: "Buyers become co-owners and also benefit from future dividends". All in all, he wants to raise as much as 30 million Swiss francs through this round of financing.