Lars Seier Christensen is a Danish businessman, entrepreneur, and investor who co-founded what was to become Saxo Bank, a financial multi-asset trading and investment platform and the founder and CEO of Concordium.
After 20 years as co-CEO of Saxo Bank, he stepped down and founded Seier Capital to focus on investments in blockchain projects, including most notably the foundational blockchain protocol, Concordium. As the CEO of Concordium, Lars oversees the company’s development to become the first project to have an innovative user identity layer built-in at the protocol level. Based in Zug, Switzerland, Concordium utilizes smart contracts and the cryptographic concept of zero-knowledge proofs, wherein users can verify that something is true without physically seeing the evidence.
Lars Seier Christensen’s passion for the restaurant business drove him to own several gourmet restaurants, most notably Denmark’s first three Michelin star restaurants, Geranium, the hi-tech restaurant Alchemist, and the iconic Cafe Dan Turell in Copenhagen.
Mr. Christensen has a very wide range of interests and activities, ranging from philosophy and politics over a gourmet, fine wine, and art to sports and charity, and is an avid commentator on political, social, and business affairs. He is a member of The Mont Pelerin Society and supports various classic liberal and libertarian organisations and causes.
Mr. Christensen finished high school and moved to Spain for an early venture into the startup world to establish a restaurant. He, then, embarked on a financial services career in London in 1988 with a particular focus on foreign exchange and derivatives trading.
In 1992, he co-founded what was to become Saxo Bank, a financial multi-asset trading and investment platform, that is both offered directly to sophisticated private investors and smaller institutions, as well as to other financial institutions as a white label infrastructure.
In 2016, after 20 years as co-CEO of Saxo Bank, Mr. Christensen stepped down to focus on other investments through his private family office, Seier Capital. He commented that “Saxo Bank is a mature company with a continued significant potential, there is consensus concerning the business strategy and a strong management team is in place. To step back into a different role has been a wish of mine for a considerable period and I believe now is the right time. I step down as co-CEO with a firm belief in future success for Saxo Bank, in which I also privately have an interest as a shareholder. I am fully confident that Kim Fournais together with the management team will take this bank to new highs.”
Two years later, in 2018, Mr. Christensen sold his remaining stake in Saxo Bank to the Chinese automotive conglomerate Geely Holdings and the Finnish finance company Sampo.
At Seier Capital, he has invested in a broad range of companies, including most notably the foundational blockchain protocol, Concordium.
Mr. Christensen was a very early adopter of the internet and is now focused on the transformative potential of blockchain in its various forms. After being a Bitcoin enthusiast and early supporter since 2012, Mr. Christensen became increasingly concerned about the early generations of blockchain projects, plagued by anonymity, lack of compliance, and simply bad tech.
Based on long-term experience with developments in the regulation of traditional financial markets, he has become convinced that a similar process will unfold in the blockchain space.
As a result, the focus on building a compliant layer one blockchain and regulatable use cases has become paramount. Having invested in different companies in many industries, today Mr. Christensen’s focus is very much on the blockchain, although he will occasionally invest also in other exciting areas.
Lars Seier Christensen often writes and act as a collaborator for different media outlets. In a recent post on TechRadar, he wrote that blockchain domains will eventually replace website addresses, mentioning that
“As far as mission statements go, it’s quite powerful –but it’s also deeply rooted in the reality of the current moment: Unstoppable Domains is a blockchain naming service with over 2.5 million registered domains, and it just hit unicorn status with a $1 billion valuation at the end of July.
If you add to this that the number of .com sales for the whole of 2021 was 126,770, and the number of .eth (Ethereum Name Service) registrations in just the last month was 378,000, it all paints quite the picture of what the future of the internet will look like.”
As a discerning guest and as the owner of several gourmet restaurants, he owns some notable restaurants including Geranium, Denmark’s first three-Michelin-star restaurant, and Alchemist, a hi-tech restaurant that opened in opening in 2019. In 2020, he added the iconic Cafe Dan Turell in Copenhagen to his portfolio, as it was his favourite hang-out during his youth.
Mr. Christensen invests in companies and projects that he believes in. With the internet and groundbreaking technologies holding the immense potential to impact humanity, Christensen likes to take calculated risks in promising businesses. Currently, his main investment area is blockchain-related businesses. He believes that the technology is transformative and with the transparency and reliability it offers, it should be encouraged to expand its use-cases.
In a recent interview with Dinis Guarda, Mr. Christensen said the following about founding Concordium: “Anonymity and non-scalability, could become major challenges in blockchain’s mainstream adoption. That’s what led me to set up Concordium as an attempt to combine these two things- take what’s great about the blockchain (distributed nature, no single points of failure) and with the traditional finance system where we know what regulators think.”
In 2007, Lars Christensen and Kim Fournais received the coveted Achievement Award from FX Week in New York. The award was given for their outstanding contribution and their strong commitment to the success of the e‐FX industry.