Over the past three years, Hodl has grown significantly as a brand and correspondingly, our team has also considerably expanded. The team of Hodl consists of 25+ team members with different backgrounds and experiences, all story-worthy, however, we want to highlight a few key members who made Hodl as we know Hodl today. The fifth individual in this series is our Chief Financial Officer: Martijn Bakker.
During his Bachelor's and Master's studies in Business Administration at Erasmus University, Martijn's keen interest in internet technologies and website development began to take root. This passion prompted him to specialize in Information Management. Here, he completed an internship within the Global Risk Management Solutions division of an accounting firm. Concurrently, he held a part-time role at Achmea, where after graduating he continued to serve as a full-time business controller overseeing the South Netherlands region for one of their companies.
Driven by the enthusiasm he nurtured during his academic years, Martijn embarked early on his entrepreneurial journey, founding a web- and later app-development company during his studies that grew to encompass a team of 20-25 professionals. Over the years he engaged in various other business ventures and projects while also pursuing an Executive Master in Finance and Control at Nyenrode Business University. Over the past few years, he participated in a venture specialized in neuromarketing and artificial intelligence, where he was responsible for the finances. Having concluded this enriching chapter, Martijn started to look for new opportunities in the finance field, leading him to Hodl Group.
My main priority at the start was the hygiene of the accounting of the Hodl Group, ensuring that everything was in order and recorded correctly. This results in correct tax filings and financial statements. Now a bit further down the road, the more forward-looking priority is to plan for the future, making forecasts and setting budgets.
Additionally, as we have a buy-and-build strategy, we work with a tax advisory firm to determine the best fiscal and organizational setup for the various current and future entities. A proper structure with a clear definition of activities for each entity and to be fully compliant with regulation is our ongoing goal.
What is the biggest challenge currently? I would say that during this time, investors are less likely to invest as we are in a bear market and the value of investments has declined. However, we still see healthy growth at Hodl Funds, growth coming from clients who know and see that this is the right time to enter to be ahead of the next bull run.
Furthermore, I work with the rest of the management team to ensure our runway is secured. I have been utilizing this period to create a solid foundation on the financial and accountancy side. When the market initiates its upward trajectory again, our team knows exactly how to manage its administrative operations.
Trends are one of the most relevant indicators, I assess the company finances by reviewing the balance sheets and income statements on a monthly basis. Based on this I’m able to create forecasts for the next 2-3 years. This forms the foundation for our budget and specifies desired targets for our assets under management. The assets under management, in turn, result in revenue, that we closely monitor as well as our expenses. This is quite a task as we have various legal entities in a number of countries.
As we operate within an international environment, we prioritize establishing close contact and cooperation with local regulatory authorities through our representatives and management team. It's essential to recognize that each country presents its unique set of regulations and challenges, and as an organization, we make sure to operate transparently and correctly in each one of them.
We are actively anticipating significant shifts in the regulatory landscape, particularly with the impending full enforcement of the European regulation for crypto-assets, MiCAR. To ensure that the Hodl Group remains fully compliant with all applicable regulations, we engage in daily efforts and proactive measures. This proactive approach underscores our dedication to stay ahead of regulatory developments and to maintain the highest standards of compliance in the dynamic digital assets industry.
The landscape of regulations is indeed a complicated and vast one and operating in the digital assets industry doesn’t make it easier. We are supported by the best professionals in the market to keep us updated on a regular basis. Also with decades of experience being an entrepreneur, I have learned a lot about (fiscal) regulation and where to find the latest changes and updates.
In today's digital age, we are fortunate to have an array of digital resources at our disposal, which greatly streamline the information-gathering process. Regulatory databases, in particular, have evolved to become more advanced, making crucial information more accessible than ever before. Given that certain regulations undergo frequent changes and are therefore required to be researched periodically to stay up-to-date in this evolving landscape.
Moreover, luckily, within the organization, we have individuals who are sincerely passionate about the digital assets industry and stay updated on market trends across different domains. Therefore, if there's an exciting development that might be relevant to another department at Hodl, this information gets passed along. This ensures a continuous streamline of useful information within the company, which is, of course, a great advantage.
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