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Interview with Stefan Hickmott CEO and founder of Evareium
Can you introduce yourself and your role in Evareium?
My name is Stefan Hickmott, I am the CEO and founder of Evareium – the world’s digital real estate investment token.
What does Evareium do?
Evareium is an award-winning real estate investment fund model where interests can be invested into, managed, exchanged and sold purely through a digital online platform via a ‘token’ representing a beneficial stake in the fund. We’ve brought the private fund investment model into the modern era to enable a purely digitalized investment entry system and enable liquidity to be implemented through the application of tokenized exchange through blockchain.
What are the main strategies for the real estate’s investments of the fund, rental income or capital appreciation?
The main objective for the Evareium EVM token is capital appreciation. Once our asset holdings have then matured, we will migrate them into a REIT (real estate investment trust) type of structure which is intended to be achieved through a future token offering – thus creating an ecosystem where we can buy and mature assets then exit into a REIT-token in perpetuity.
Will the tokens provide a dividend?
The tokens are setup to provide dividends, capital gains and other net proceeds to investors as and when made and ready for distribution, yes.
What are other ways in which the tokens will have their value appreciated?
We have a number of ideas as to how we can bring additional value to the EVM token brought about by the interplay with other token offerings we want to launch which will complement but not compete with EVM.
Will the team be presenting at any conferences?
We are finalizing our schedule and expect to be at many events during February, March and April this year and beyond.
In what specific investments funds if any were the board of directors, founders, advisors working for in the past?
I was previously vice president of The Abraaj Group, this region’s largest private equity firm with approximate US$ 10 billion of assets under management. I was principally in charge of investing a large proportion of the Abraaj Real Estate Fund during my tenure. Mark Wilson was previously with a major family office in Dubai and several major financial institutions including Julius Bar’s private wealth division. Many of the other team members have substantial expertise and experience in financial management and deployment across multiple major firms.
What are the largest / most important real estate deals that any of the team members of founders have been involved in?
Landmark deals I had a lead role in while at The Abraaj Group included The Capital Club business club project in DIFC in Dubai, establishment of international developer Enshaa psc in DIFC, Dubai, and assistance in the procurement and management of the Palazzo Versace Dubai hotel project, D1 residential tower and Emirates Financial Towers projects in Dubai. Also, I was involved in the structuring and establishment of the Abanar LLP boutique real estate fund in London specializing in niche property investments.
In which jurisdiction is Evareium registered?
The Cayman Islands – the centre of course for all major offshore investment funds, currently more than 40,000 I believe.
What are the ongoing fees for the fund, where will these fees be paid from, are the fees paid even if no dividends are issued to the token holders?
The ongoing fees are 2% annual management fee only. Yes, a 20% carried interest is payable at the time we exit the investment(s) into the REIT-type token (or alternate exit method) but only if we make a minimum 6% annualized IRR on such investment. Once we exit an investment, we will return the net proceeds from such but intend to then reinvest the capital component into new assets in perpetuity.
What type of properties will the fund invest in?
The prime focus is existing property where a clear value-add strategy can be applied. So repositioning opportunities, capital expenditure required projects, distressed assets etcetera. Clearly assets which most suit a REIT-type exit will be the focus, such as office buildings in prime and near-prime locations, light industrial and warehousing units and long-term tenancy assets.
Will the properties be managed by the fund or by third parties?
The properties will be managed by the fund at the investment level, and we will use suitable third parties for facilities management and property management services where prudent and appropriate to do so.
In which specific market will Evareium purchase the fund’s first property?
Most likely in Dubai, UAE, since we have assets already in the pipeline here which we can move to acquire very quickly and are strong propositions.
What is the target geographical distribution of assets for the fund?
We make it clear that a large proportion of the fund can be deployed into the UAE, especially Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the northern Emirates, but also across the Gulf Cooperation Council region which are the 6 nations comprising the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar. There is also flexibility to invest a small proportion of the fund elsewhere globally if certain opportunities arise which fit the Evareium strategy and asset portfolio, and also in real estate related technology which may support or complement the assets of the fund.
What is the difference in rights and obligations between the limited partners of the Evareium fund and Evareium token holders?
The tokenholders’ rights are fundamentally governed by the smart contract and information memorandum of the fund as published on the website. The tokenholders will form one large ‘block’ of investors forming one limited partner of the fund effectively which then enters into the fund partnership on the same terms as any other limited partner will, just one step removed. The limited partners have physical literature depicting their contribution into the fund, whereas tokenholders will have immutable rights in the form of digital tokens recorded in a decentralized ledger manner through the ERC-20 Ethereum blockchain.
Would you like to add further information?
“With the pace of digitalization of practically everything in our lives now happening at an exponential rate, bringing with it far greater choice and freedom in every facet of our lives, investing in real estate in a NON-digitalized, illiquid format will not only rapidly turn obsolete, but soon become an absurdity.” Stefan Hickmott, CEO and founder of Evareium.
For more information please visit: www.evareium.io
We thank Stefan Hickmott for the interview.