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3. Jul. 2019 - Press release

Bank Frick acquires majority in the fintech group 21.finance AG

Bank Frick relies on the area2Invest investment platform from the Liechtenstein fintech company 21.finance AG. The Bank now holds 50.14 per cent of the shares in 21.finance. area2Invest is a digital market place for classic and tokenised financial products. Bank Frick and the founders aim to expand the platform with additional partners from the financial industry.

Bank Frick acquires majority in the fintech group 21.finance AG

Bank Frick has acquired a majority in the fintech group 21.finance AG. Raphael Haldner, Head of Fund and Capital Markets at Bank Frick and a member of 21.finance AG’s Board of Directors: “Both Bank Frick and 21.finance AG are open for discussions with other strong partners from the financial industry.”

Balzers, Ruggell (LI) – Following a capital increase at 21.finance AG, Bank Frick now holds a majority in the Liechtenstein-based fintech company of 50.14 per cent of the share capital. Founders Max J. Heinzle and Udo Oksakowski hold just under 30 per cent of the shares. The remaining shares are in free float.

Bank Frick already acquired a stake in 21.finance AG in September 2018, buying just over 25 per cent of the Liechtenstein fintech company’s shares. 21.finance AG digitises and automates processes on the area2Invest investment platform in compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements.

Open for discussions with new partners

“We believe there is enormous potential for financial institutions, issuers and other financial product promoters to make their products accessible to various investor groups on area2Invest on a fully digitised, cross-border basis”, says Raphael Haldner, Head of Fund and Capital Markets at Bank Frick and a member of the Board of Directors of 21.finance AG. “The Bank currently holds a majority in 21.finance”, he adds. “However, both Bank Frick and 21.finance AG are open for discussions with other potential strong partners.”

On the area2Invest investment platform, issuers can present and offer interested investors their structured financing proposals on a public or private basis (public or private placements, respectively). “For Bank Frick, area2Invest is an excellent showcase via which we can present and sell our proposals and issues to our customers”, Haldner explains. “We are confident that other financial institutions will see the potential too.”

“Regulated financial products are our USP”

“In the first phase, we will enable the primary market issue of classic transferable assets such as funds, bonds and certificates. After that, we would soon like to begin issuing security tokens”, Haldner continues. “The fact that we distribute regulated financial products via area2Invest is a unique selling point that clearly distinguishes us from the vast majority of fintechs, who primarily operate in the field of crowd investing.”

Unlisted issuers get better access to equity, debt and mezzanine capital via area2Invest, while investors get easier access to interesting and exclusive investments. “We believe there is great potential, particularly for financial intermediaries. With the help of area2Invest, they can make capital procurement easier for their customers, issue their own financial products and offer their customers alternative investments”, Haldner explains. “In the current environment of low interest rates and the associated investment crisis, area2Invest can offer interesting investment opportunities for investors.”

area2Invest

Further optimisation until the private launch

The first issues will be released for investors on area2Invest.com in the second half of 2019. “In recent months, we have invested a lot of resources in further developing the processes and the user interface in order to meet regulatory requirements on the one hand and optimise the user experience on the other.”

“Our participation in 21.finance AG is a further component in the implementation of our strategy of making innovative banking services and financial products digitally available to financial intermediaries”, says Bank Frick’s Raphael Haldner in conclusion.

About Bank Frick

Bank Frick specialises in banking for intermediaries. The Liechtenstein bank provides a fully integrated offering of classic banking and blockchain banking services. Its clients include fintechs, asset managers, payment service providers, family offices, fund promoters, pension funds and fiduciaries.

Bank Frick has been family-run since its foundation as a licensed universal bank in 1998 and adopts an entrepreneurial approach. Today, the Bank is majority controlled by the Kuno Frick Family Foundation (65 per cent), the Nasdaq-listed financial technology group Net1 owns 35 per cent of Bank Frick’s share capital. The Bank employs over 120 members of staff at its Balzers office and operates a branch in London, UK.

In addition to its proven basic services, Bank Frick’s classic banking offerings cover services for funds and issues, focusing on formulating European (AIF, UCITS) and national fund solutions. In the capital market sector, Bank Frick develops tailored financial products for intermediaries and supports them along the whole issue process, acting also as a custodian bank.

Bank Frick is one of Europe’s pioneers of the regulated blockchain banking sector. As well as offering trading and custodian services for crypto assets, the Bank supports token sales and develops tailored crypto structuring solutions for intermediaries.

Bank Frick is the only Liechtenstein bank with acquiring licences from Visa and MasterCard to process card payments globally for payment service providers and their online merchants.

Bank Frick established subsidiaries in 2019 to appear independently on the market with new services: Distributed Ventures AG, an incubator and accelerator to promote and finance fintech and blockchain start-ups as well as The DLT Markets AG which offers institutional investors professional access to digital assets. In 2019, Bank Frick also acquired fintech Tradico AG, which specialises in trade financing for SMEs, and the majority of fintech 21.finance AG, which operates area2Invest, a digital investment platform for classic and tokenised financial products.

About 21.finance AG

The fintech 21.finance AG was founded in 2017 by Max J. Heinzle and Udo G. Oksakowski as a Liechtenstein company limited by shares (Aktiengesellschaft) with its registered office in Ruggell. On the investment platform area2Invest, issuers seeking capital are connected to investors and legally compliant, cross-border public and private placements are made possible with classic and tokenised financial products. Investors can conveniently and digitally subscribe to investment projects in a range of yield and risk classes.

Media contact

Bank Frick & Co. AG
Sigvard Wohlwend, Head of Corporate and Market Communications
T +423 388 21 46
sigvard.wohlwend@bankfrick.li

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