Matthew Ekroth, from Morgan Stanley to Blockchain
Brickken is pleased to announce our new Senior Advisor, Matt Ekroth. Matt’s background and career are incredibly exciting and he has a wealth of experience to bring to Brickken. He has previously worked at some of the most important financial institutions globally before starting his own firm Green Edge advisors. Matt will be an anchor reference to financial matters at Brickken which will help us define our route map to disrupt the financial industry.In order to introduce Matt to all of you, he has kindly offered himself to answer a few questions so that you get to know him, his career and where he sees this industry in a few years time. Do not miss it!
When and why did you realise that you wanted to change careers and leave Morgan Stanley?
I spent over 20 years in quantitative trading as a Portfolio Manager and Strategist. The industry has changed enormously since the early 2000s, when Investment Banks enjoyed significant advantages in this space. Over the past five years, the data and compute landscape has radically shifted. The rise of cloud computing such as Amazon Web Services and the emergence of the growing alternative data ecosystem are transforming asset management.
After moving into a role as head of data strategy for the Equities Trading division at Morgan Stanley, I quickly realised that the industry is only just starting to adapt to these changes. The Investment Management industry is essentially being forced to become more ‘Quantamental.’ Unfortunately, many firms are not well equipped to make this transformation. So after leaving Morgan Stanley in May, I founded Green Edge Advisors to work with investment management firms looking to become more quantitative in their investment process.
How do you think your career and background connect with blockchain and DeFi?
During this decade, I see two ‘tsunamis’ affecting the investment management industry. The first is, as mentioned, the rise of the alternative data ecosystem that continues to transform price discovery. The second is the emergence of Blockchain technology and DeFi. It is only a question of when, and not if, the financial markets will become digital. Therefore, besides helping firms transition to a quantamental approach, I am preparing for the coming market transition to blockchain and DeFi. This second tsunami will completely transform the capital markets in a way that is not yet fully appreciated.
What do you like about Brickken and how do you think you can help the company?
I am incredibly excited to see how the team at Brickken is leading the way in the tokenization of assets. Tokenization is, of course, the critical first step in digitizing the capital markets. The problems facing the Blockchain and DeFi space are still substantial but rapidly being solved by start-ups like Brickken.
The transition to digital assets and DeFi will take time, and it will not be a painless process. I hope to use my extensive experience in the ‘analog’ market system to bridge the gap to the digital one. I have deep experience and connections in the public listed market space, and this entire ecosystem will need to be replicated in a tokenised world. I couldn’t be more excited to help Brickken lead the way in driving this transition and in unleashing enormous value while substantially reducing the costs present throughout the current system.
Where do you see blockchain in the next 10 years? And Security Token Offerings?
Over the next 10 years, I see Blockchain technology transforming the capital markets and many global industries. The benefits of a trustless and publicly verifiable ledger system are too great. Moreover, the cost savings alone will drive mass adoption as repetitive financial and legal processes are moved to smart contracts.
Speaking of the financial markets, the potential for blockchain and DeFi to transform markets such as real estate and illiquid bonds is incredibly exciting. Unfortunately, these two sectors are very inefficient and thus entail substantial costs. Exciting technologies and platforms will continue to emerge as the Blockchain ecosystem matures.
Security Token Offerings will gradually overtake the traditional security issuance system. In the future, the real value of the technologies underlying Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies comes in the form of its role in security, transparency, and permanence, each of which is essential to financial markets’ efficiency, trust and confidence.
What advice would you give your 20 year old self, if you could travel back in time?
If I could go back to my 20-year-old self, I would tell him that a major career goal should be to build knowledge and relationships, not just try to earn a high salary and climb the corporate ladder. But, I would also say, don’t be afraid to be different, think differently and take bold but rational risks when opportunities appear (and they will always appear if you are looking for them and thinking about them).
I would also advise him that when these strange new financial instruments called cryptocurrencies appear, get on board as quickly as possible! 🙂
Here in Brickken, we would like to thank Matthew for his time, but mostly for believing in us in our journey on creating a full decentralized ecosystem for Security Token Offering through our dApp and our own utility token, the BKN. If you want to know more, and why he decided to jump as an Advisor for Brickken, please read out whitepaper.