Cardano's 15th year anniversary

September 2015

On 1 September 2000, Cardano was created with the purpose of creating more stable financial outcomes for households and more resilient institutions servicing those households. It was after a period of almost 20 years of market euphoria, known as the Great Moderation, championed by Bernanke, Greenspan and co. However, Theo Kocken, the founder of Cardano, had deep concerns and was a proponent of Hyman Minsky's belief that periods of great boom enabled a classic period of financial instability, with stable growth encouraging greater financial risk taking.

The Cardano idea about instability and resilience in financial markets has matured over the years. It has become a philosophy put into practice, throughout the company, across a variety of organisations from pension funds to insurance companies to development banks and educational institutions.

As Theo Kocken explains "It makes me extremely proud to see what we have achieved for the retirement industry via our innovative and influential thinking. First of all we have supported one million beneficiaries behind our pension fund clients, creating more stable outcomes in one of the most turbulent financial periods of the last few centuries. Next to that we have supported and influenced many thought leaders in the pension industry and also government ministers, senior civil servants and policy makers in the Netherlands and the UK, Sweden and the United States. Our realisation that proper investment and risk management were not sufficiently embedded in pension legislation and design has resonated." 

In 2007, the same year that Cardano was founded in the UK, we also started TCX (The Currency Exchange) which would later become part of Cardano Development. Eight years later Cardano Development has grown to a portfolio of high impact frontier market solutions with various different institutes. TCX has grown into a mature institute based on the solid equity holder circle of 16 Development Financial Institutions (DFI's). Besides TCX, also Mantis, FrontClear, BIX and CoinRe were founded and most of them are now in a start-up phase or beyond.

The stories behind these initiatives, and how these concepts have helped people in the third world are great examples of the stability and resilience concept that prompted the foundation of Cardano. A philosophy that has matured and strengthened over the last 15 years, and will continue to do so over this century.

The most recent initiative, Cardano Education, is established with the aim to fill the financial knowledge gap in schools to support individuals in better understanding the uncertainty of financial markets and prepare them for life-impacting decisions. The Boom Bust Boom documentary is the latest production, showing the many ways in which human foibles cause financial crises.