Blockchain venture Setl returns to the fray after insolvency filing

“We thought the case would be seen as compelling but users weren’t ready to put their hands in their pockets to contribute to regulatory capital"

Credit Agricole-backed blockchain-based settlement startup Setl has emerged from administration.

Its management have bought the operating assets, the staff and IP rights of Setl Development (in Administration) Ltd, which is being wound down. They have reached agreement with all their major clients to continue support and development activities and expect to push ahead with a number of core initiatives.

“Setl has restructured its balance sheet and simplified its business-model,” the venture said in a statement. “It will now offer blockchain-based solutions across a broad range of commercial cases in partnership with existing financial service providers and will continue to support infrastructures powered by Setl blockchain.”

Founded by former Chi-X Europe boss Peter Randall, Setl filed for insolvency in March this year, after it was unable to maintain the regulatory capital that was needed to sustain two businesses it had been developing — ID2S, a central securities depository, and Iznes, a record-keeping platform for European funds. Quantuma were appointed administrators.

Sir David Walker, author of the Walker Report, a review of corporate governance in UK banks, is now taking on the role of Chairman while Christian Noyer, the former governor of the Bank of France, will be the lead independent director. Both served on the board of the previous company.

“We thought the case would be seen as compelling but users weren’t ready to put their hands in their pockets to contribute to regulatory capital,” Walker told the Financial Times.

Break through in France

Last year, Setl was notably granted a licence from French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers to operate its central securities depository system. Around that time, it also appointed Philippe Morel as CEO and board member, who remains involved in the second iteration of the company.

“I am enthusiastic to be joining Setl at this exciting stage in its development and to have this great opportunity to lead the company through its next phase of innovation and growth,” said Morel, who spent 28 years at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 20 years of which was as a Partner and then Senior Partner and Managing Director of the firm.

Of the latest development, he commented: “We wanted to act quickly, decisively and to reorganise with the best guidance and support possible. Our administrators, board members, management and teams have all pulled together to get us in the best possible shape as quickly as possible.”

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