Fayçal Tazi (EMBA 2017) joins board of new venture specialising in commodity trade finance blockchain solutions.
Halfway through his time on the Cambridge Executive MBA (EMBA) programme, Commodity Finance Director Fayçal Tazi participated in the formation of a brand-new venture.
Komgo is a joint venture focused on utilising blockchain technology to solve inherent issues in commodity trade finance.
Formed as a consortium
of industry professionals from some of the world’s largest financial
institutions and corporate organisations in oil and gas, chemical
manufacturing, and auditing and certification, the consortium members investing
in Komgo will be its first customers and beneficiaries of the solution it
Impetus for the venture
finance is a century-old industry that is still being governed by manual and
paper-based processes prone to fraud and human error. What’s more, these
processes require heavy middle- and back-office intervention to execute
transactions,” says Fayçal, a native of Casablanca, Morocco, now based in London.
inefficiencies, time-consuming operations and increased regulation, the
consortium joined forces to develop a solution that will have positive impacts
on industry participants’ margins.”
Based on their shared
drive to solve said inefficiencies, the consortium is exploring the potential
held by blockchain technology.
“In 2017, a few
banks operated two fully digitised ‘proof of concept’ transactions using
blockchain technology, the successes of which further increased industry
interest in the solution” says Fayçal on the impetus for the venture. “This
led to the formation of Komgo in August of 2018.”
Less than a year after
its inception, Komgo has built a decentralised network infrastructure, enabling
participants to access blockchain-enabled digital financial products.
A focus on security
According to Fayçal,
the company has lofty ambitions that they hope will lead to a full shake-up in
the commodity trade finance industry.
provide a fully digitised open financing platform powered by blockchain,
leading to massive improvements in security, fraud reduction and operational
So, how does it
achieve this? Komgo’s blockchain ledger transmits peer-to-peer transactions in
a secure environment. This provides full visibility to both parties but stores
only essential reference data in the network, accessibly only on a need-to-know
document requires 41 ‘touch points’ during the trade financing process,”
continues Fayçal. “Despite this, as much as 95 per cent of data
transmitted in a single commodity trade cycle adds no value or revenue to the
transaction. We propose simplification to drive efficiency, whilst also
Non-executive director: a completely
Fayçal works as a
Director of Commodity Finance at financial services company Mitsubishi UFJ
Financial Group (MUFG). His involvement with Komgo is the first time he has had
the opportunity to sit in a non-executive director role.
“This is a
completely new experience for me; it’s very different from an executive role. I
am focused on the long-term strategy of the company, making decisions with
regards to funding, and contributing to the customer acquisition strategy.”
to be involved in the development of strategy for Komgo, as I truly believe
this will be transformational for the commodity trading industry as a whole,”
says Fayçal. “On a personal level, I also see this as an important asset
for my learning and eventually career progression.”
Influenced by Cambridge
Fayçal graduated from
Cambridge Judge Business School’s Executive MBA programme in 2019, having
previously studied in Brazil and France. During his time on the programme, he
built a strong, supportive network and developed a wide range of skills.
studying with both successful executive managers and entrepreneurs inspired me
to nurture new ideas and perspectives and cultivate my entrepreneurial spirit.
I’m showing more flexibility in my management style now and displaying higher
levels of empathy in my professional interactions – something I was keen to get
out of the programme.”
to invest in Komgo came along at the perfect time for me as I was able to speak
with my cohort about the potential of blockchain technologies. This helped me
develop a passionate interest in the subject and continues to drive the company’s
Advice for future cohorts
“Make the most of your time while In Cambridge,” says Fayçal. “Being part of an Executive MBA cohort at Cambridge is a unique opportunity. You will meet amazing and inspiring individuals that will (hopefully) be friends for life, so invest in networking.”