SETL, the financial blockchain specialist, opens Paris office to support its eurozone operations

SETL, the London based financial blockchain specialist, today announced the opening of their Paris office to develop its eurozone activities. The new office will be led by Pierre Davoust, formerly Deputy Head of the Financial Markets Unit at the French Treasury, who is appointed CEO France at SETL.

SETL was launched in July 2015 to deploy a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology. The SETL system will enable market participants to move cash and assets directly between each other, facilitating the immediate and final settlement of market transactions. The SETL system maintains a permissioned, distributed ledger of ownership and transaction records, simplifying the process of matching, settlement, custody, registration and transaction reporting.

By opening an office in Paris, SETL intends to bring the benefit of its blockchain infrastructure to the French market and the wider eurozone. The move will improve SETL’s capacity to deal with any future regulatory or other changes in the EU financial markets.

Pierre Davoust, CEO France, stated: “Paris is a large financial centre, with a particularly strong asset management community. So it is a logical step for SETL to develop a local presence in Paris as we aim to put end-users of financial markets, such as issuers and investors, at the centre of our strategy.”

He added: “France has a rich technological and regulatory ecosystem, with a high-level IT and cryptography community, and ongoing reforms in the field of securities law, which is a very well-suited environment for the development of a best-in-class blockchain infrastructure”.

Peter Randall, CEO of SETL, stated: “We are delighted to open an office in Paris and to welcome Pierre Davoust into the SETL team. Having put sterling on to the blockchain, this latest development demonstrates that SETL wants to bring the benefit of its infrastructure to the eurozone.”

 

SETL Development Limited launched in July 2015 to deploy a multi-asset, multi-currency institutional payment and settlements infrastructure based on blockchain technology. The SETL system enables market participants to move cash and assets directly between each other, facilitating the immediate and final settlement of market transactions. The SETL system maintains a permissioned distributed ledger of ownership and transaction records, simplifying the process of matching, settlement, custody, registration and transaction reporting.

The initiative is led by Peter Randall, the former CEO and founder of Chi-X, the pan-European equities trading venue. The SETL management team comprises: Peter Randall, CEO; Anthony Culligan, Product CEO; Nicholas Pennington, CTO; and Francois Barthelemy, Head of Corporate Strategy.

In December 2015, SETL announced Sir David Walker as its chair. Sir David is a former Executive Director of the Bank of England and has served as the chairman of Barclays, Morgan Stanley International, the Securities and Investment Board and as deputy chairman of Lloyds TSB. In July 2016, Rachel Lomax, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Ed Richards, former CEO of Ofcom, joined the SETL board. In November 2016, Martin Clements, recently retired from his role as Director General responsible for Technology and Transformation at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office joined the SETL board.

The SETL technology has been designed from the ground up to meet the needs of the finance industry and eliminate some of the concerns raised about the use of blockchain technology for financial markets. These include anonymity, typical for ‘permissionless’ blockchains such as the bitcoin blockchain, which would present challenges to AML / KYC obligations of financial institutions, and the limited capacity and speed of current blockchains, not designed to handle the required volume of financial transactions. SETL is a real-time, real-world system and as such will offer connectivity and compatibility with existing workflows, systems, standards and regulations.

Visa capacity is tested to 56k transactions per second – which is 4 times the actual peak rate.

Today, the SETL team comprises 25 people in London, Ipswich, Tokyo and Paris.

Before joining SETL, Pierre Davoust was an official at the Treasury where he served as the deputy head of the financial markets unit. He is a graduate of Ecole polytechnique, Ecole des Ponts Paristech and Paris School of Economics.