We sit down with energy industry maverick and market innovator, Maryam Ayati, who leads NEO Holdings. NEO brings established industry giants together with the climate and entrepreneurial ecosystem in mutually profitable models. Together, they identify and operationalize tomorrow’s most valuable new commodities and business models, reinventing energy and extractive supply chains such that they serve planet, people and profit.
Earlier in her career in private equity settings, she has led at-scale deployment of novel clean technology including some of the world’s first downstream liquified natural gas value chains to replace diesel and fuel oil: LNG-fueled drilling, mobility, marine and mining. In addition to overseeing world first monetization of landfill-gas to mobility, flare-gas-fueled microgrids and flare-gas to mobility in N. America.
Maryam also spent over a decade as an executive at Royal Dutch Shell. There, she created and led multiple global lines of business and organizations. These included Shell Trading’s Origination & Investments practice across global crude and oil products, pioneering the LNG to downstream and marine concepts for the energy company, creating Shell’s Global LNG Regas organization, leading the business model design for Shell’s New Energies business and various others. With Shell, she also co-founded the industry first enterprise grade blockchain platforms Vakt and Komgo, serving as the founding board chair of Vakt Holdings.
About the episode
Maryam Ayati doubles down on Robert Friedland’s vision of grading and trading commodities based on ESG aspects but describes it as a first step in a transformational but rapid redesign of commodity supply chains, financing and pricing. She describes how the entire commodity supply chain could be tokenized using stable tokens and distributed ledger technology, and how commodities could literally be traced to their source with the journey to end-user captured in almost perpetuity, using new data tech which applies molecular-level digital fingerprints to almost any commodity.
What to listen for
— There is a land grab for the highest value assets of the economy’s next iteration on traded markets, commodities and resources.
— This future is being designed, built, legislated and monetized with big tech, data and crypto leading – without the burden of a legacy of competitive advantage to protect or preserve. The traditional market and commodity players are not at that table.
— They should be.
— The next iteration on resource and commodity markets will have origin, source tracking, environmental social attributes built into a single tokenized version of the truth. Priced in for the market to choose.
— There is a time-bound opportunity for tip of the spear leaders in established industry to take a seat at the head table to collaborate with the new economy’s pace-setters. They earn that seat by leveraging a century of lessons learnt, a wealth of know-how, experience, relationships and distribution channels that can be deployed to create new competitive advantage.
A superb, hour-long discussion with Commodity Legend, Jeff Currie. This episode sheds light on the politics and market issues facing the investment community in committing fully to renewable energy technologies.
Jeff’s commentary helps listeners understand the difficulties in pricing carbon, and why a carbon price is crucial to advancing ESG standards. He delves into the role governments and policy plays in establishing rules for carbon emissions, and helping the market discover a price for emitting carbon into our environment. Jeff focuses our attention on the reality that, to properly incentivize investment in renewable energy technologies, the first step is a clear mechanism to price carbon.
Thomas McMahon has over 50 years of experience in international exchange-based Commodity and Derivative product creation, clearing, trading, and regulatory licensing. Over the past decade, Thom has worked broadly across Asia to bring to market major international exchange formation and licensing projects in Singapore, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia, Dubai and India. Thom previously served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the Singapore Mercantile Exchange from April 2009 until June 2011 after licencing and launching an exchange and clearing house now owned by Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. Thom was also a former President of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, and a Vice President and Director of the NYMEX, now part of the CME Group Inc.
About the episode
Abaxx co-founder Thom McMahon weighs in on the company’s activities to actually design and build the fully tokenized commodity trading system envisioned by Robert Friedland, Maryam Ayati and Jeffrey Currie in our first three episodes. Thom also explains why a physical delivery LNG contract is essential to the green energy revolution, and how Abaxx Exchange is designing that contract right now to establish Singapore as the global benchmark market for LNG price discovery.
What to listen for
— History of Henry Hub
Logica Funds’ Mike Green explains why he and most of the smartest people in finance are in the business of exploiting and profiting from deficiencies of current markets, rather than fixing them. Mike explains why incentives don’t favor fixing what’s broken, and what we need to do to change the system and enable migration to a new generation of SmarterMarkets™.
What to listen for:
— A smart contracts and ledger-based systems can improve transparency within the financial system, but the systems that are in place currently do not benefit from this transparency, creating a headwind for innovation in the technological infrastructure of financial markets.
— The lower cost of capital combined with a “social contract” or acceptance of risk taking is rewarded by the system and becomes the “bug” in adopting new technologies that keep market participants accountable.
— There is a cost associated with transparency, and until we accept this and are willing to pay for this collectively, we will find it difficult to build smarter financial markets to benefit society as a whole.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Frank Lavin weighs in on Singapore’s suitability as the emergent Asian Financial Capital City and Singaporean regulators’ willingness to consider new and innovative approaches to designing smarter financial markets.
NEO Stock exchange founder Jos Schmitt explains why most existing stock exchanges give an unfair trading advantage to some customers over others, and explains why he launched a new exchange specifically designed to level the playing field for all investors.
Commodity legend Mark Fisher shares some choice stories, including how the Hudson River can be used as a risk management tool to cure over-trading, then goes on to reflect on how the design of commodities futures markets could be improved.