November 1, London – Smartlands is excited to announce that Katharine Manderfield has joined Smartlands as an Executive Director. “Katharine is a seasoned professional with plenty of relevant experience in financial markets, particularly in crowdfunding. In the past, she’s had a lot of success in developing new business, building and managing large portfolios for her clients. We’re thrilled to have her on board given the challenges the UK financial sector is facing,” says Smartlands CEO Ilia Obraztsov, adding that “the expectations are high from all sides – regulators, issuers, investors, but we’re confident that as Executive Director, Katharine will handle the pressure, make it work for our benefit, and take Smartlands to new heights.”
As Executive Director, Katharine Manderfield is tasked with assisting business expansion and development of new investment projects in the UK. She will be growing the Smartlands investor base focusing on the strategic goal of tokenising $1 bn in assets by 2023 stated in the Company’s roadmap for global expansion.
In light of her new appointment, we’ve asked Kathrine to answer a few questions about herself, her professional experience, views and aspirations.
Smartlands: Katharine, it’s a real pleasure, congratulations on the new and exciting position. What is your professional background?
Katharine Manderfield: Thank you so much, it’s a real thrill to assist Smartlands as an Executive Director, I’ve heard a lot about the Company but working for it is another matter entirely, although, I am positive I can add some real value. I have prior experience in advising boards. I have worked with number of disruptive fintech businesses, including what at the time was Europe’s largest peer to peer property lender, a private student finance company, and a specialist SaaS for investment banks, asset managers, hedge funds and exchanges. I am experienced in successfully scaling startups and developing comprehensive go-to-market strategies. I am also a huge fan of property investments having both worked in the industry and invested personally over a 15 year period.
S: What made you think that Smartlands is the project for you?
KM: Smartlands possesses cutting-edge technology in a sector that’s ripe for disruption, and I see this company as a powerful vehicle to change the industry substantially. I was very impressed by the vision of the senior managers, and the passion and professionalism of every one of the team members I have met so far. Also, the total global addressable market is phenomenal, I believe the business has huge potential.
S: What do you think of the current state of financial markets, and how could Smartlands contribute to global financial inclusion?
KM: Financial services are massively antiquated, and aside from DLT, there has not been a seismic shift culturally since computers first made their way into banks. There are too many banking processes, which more over are slow, clunky, expensive, and unable to scale. Smartlands Platform is genuinely borderless, it applies to numerous asset classes, and the universal accessibility it facilitates is essential for democratising investments on a global scale.
S: Recently, Smartlands unveiled a strategy for global expansion. How do you think your experience will help Smartlands to achieve the Company’s strategic goal?
KM: I have assisted a number of businesses in scaling from 4 to 100 people, and in one case to £400m turnover. In my first few weeks of working with Smartlands, I have seen a strong appetite for what the Platform’ s potential on the part of both issuers and potential investors. To scale, we need the right reasons, the right pace, and the right product, but people and culture are still key. I will also be assisting in raising Series A round of financing, which has already been well received by various VCs.
S: Security tokens, although on the rise, remain niche market. What can Smartlands do for mass adoption of this highly innovative instrument?
KM: Smartlands is at the cutting edge of the DLT technology; in fact, the Company has carved a substantial, almost exclusive niche for itself implementing a truly unique approach to Stellar network capabilities. Now we have a task to educate and inform a wider audience. Institutions need to welcome innovation and become truly consumer-centric. The reaction to what we believe to be the UK’s first tokenised property development was encouraging, and we look forward to bringing further opportunities to asset managers, asset owners, and investors.