Maecenas is backed by an outstanding team that brings expertise from many different areas to build a truly unique and groundbreaking platform. Today we introduce a key member of the Maecenas leadership team: Chief Financial Officer Eduardo Sarian.
Eduardo comes to Maecenas after a long career spent in finance. Born and raised in Argentina, he began his career as a financial analyst there after completing his undergraduate studies. In 2007 he travelled to the United States to carry on his studies, receiving an MBA from Philadelphia’s prestigious Wharton School of Business in 2009. After graduating, Eduardo spent four years in London at UBS, where he covered the secondary private equity market. “It was the period just after the financial crisis, and a lot of private equity firms were looking to offload illiquid equity positions. I learned a lot in that time about what makes a company likely to succeed, and how successful businesses are managed,” says Eduardo.
Eventually Eduardo’s former employer in Argentina asked him to return, and he spent the next four years doing M&A work focussing on debt restructurings and equity issuances for large assets including airports, oil and gas infrastructure, and construction. During this time he worked on deals in Latin America as well as the US and Asia.
Eduardo’s next step was a sabbatical, which brought him to Southeast Asia to consider his next step. It was during this time that he became interested in blockchain technology, and dove into every source of information he could find on the topic. “I began asking mature questions that I felt needed to be asked about the space,” he says. “[CEO] Marcelo [Garcia Casil], who I had been having some conversations with, agreed with me that Maecenas is in many ways a fintech company and that the team needed robust financial expertise. And last year he asked me to join Maecenas as CFO.”
Eduardo began making his mark immediately, taking responsibility for all of the legal, contractual, and other ‘nuts and bolts’ details behind Maecenas’s successful tokenisation of a Warhol last autumn. His main focuses currently are improving the structure and implementation of the contracts, PPMs, investor documents, and other key foundations of tokenised art investing. He is also working on different legal structures whereby blockchain can be applied more efficiently. An admitted newcomer to the blockchain world, he nevertheless feels comfortable, saying “tokenised artworks are ultimately financial assets, and that is where I have built my career.”
Asked about the biggest challenges and rewards of working at Maecenas, Eduardo is quick to answer. “The biggest challenge is that we are creating something completely new - an asset class to allow investors to access fine art,” he says. “It is tremendously exciting to be building not just a new kind of company but an entirely new way of investing in an asset class. I view it as another chapter in the story of the evolution of markets. If you look back up through history, for most of the time commodities were not thought of as financial assets. They needed someone to come along and create synthetic products like ETFs for gold or REITs for real estate so that people could trade the asset without having to buy an entire building, for example. Art is the same way - although it does present its own challenges, one of the foremost being that, unlike a bar of gold, every piece of art is unique and non-replicable.”
As for the greatest rewards? “There is nothing like working in a truly innovative industry,” says Eduardo. “To help, hopefully, create a revolution in an industry like this and increase flow of capital, is its own reward. And it's fun. We have a great, diverse team with many different skill sets and professional backgrounds. This continues to be an extraordinary experience for me.”
In his spare time, Eduardo is a keen surfer, and travels to Indonesia and other areas to surf whenever he has the time. He is also an avid photographer and a voracious reader. We are glad to have him as a key member of our management team, and we look forward his playing a major role in the continued success of Maecenas.