Imagine getting on a plane – anywhere in the world – and getting off again, anywhere in the world, and each time you disembark, there is no passport control – no queues, no hassle, no delays. The border authorities will already know who boarded the aircraft. And not just you – anyone who is using our new self-sovereign identity technology could do the same. This technology could help you open and operate a bank account more easily, with faster and more accurate identity checks. As well as saving you time, this would also help banks and other businesses reduce costs – just imagine the benefits this could bring to any industry or public service. Like a catalyst, we are converting the operation of identity into a global system, fit for the 21st century. We’ve solved the problem of identity management, not by changing existing data infrastructures, but rather through fundamentally changing the way they work. See how other businesses have benefited from Innovate UK support and funding. The 2018 top 100 influencers in identityThe founder and chief executive of ObjectTech, Paul Ferris, appears in this year’s list alongside global names such as Allen Zhang, the creator of WeChat. Only 12 of the people included in the list are from the UK.The list is compiled by One World Identity, an independent identity research company focused on cyber security, digital commerce and risk management. The list includes identity pioneers and innovators, ranging from individual entrepreneurs to members of large organisations.A secure solution for the 21st centuryPeople are currently facing an unprecedented number of requests from organisations asking to use their identity data – from banking, to travel, to ordering a coffee. The challenge posed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Davos in January 2018 was: “Data is the raw material of the 21st century, the question is who owns it?”.However, ObjectTech is taking a different approach by helping people to control their own identity in a process known as Self-Sovereign Identity (SSID).SSID is a process that enables people and businesses to store their identity data on their own remote platform – known as a ‘locker’, rather than in a centralised database. ObjectTech has designed and developed an application programme interface (API) which allows existing systems to integrate with SSID technology through a simple interface. This allows people to provide proof of their identity without the need to share actual data.Benefits for ID-dependent businessesPaul Ferris said: A digital currency has advantages in faster processing, improved delivery time, and less complexity and cost. It will change the way people live and do business in Dubai and mark a giant leap for the city in harnessing game-changing innovations to improve the ease of business and quality of life. We are delighted to have ObjectTech as our partner in this initiative. New export markets opening upObjectTech’s SSID technology is attracting interest from several major global organisations. The company is working on the Dubai government’s new contactless payments system and is exploring opportunities with other airport hubs around the world.Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy, said: Leading the world in identity securityFerris is advising the World Economic Forum on their Trusted Traveller Program, part of the system initiative on shaping the future of mobility. He is also a global convener for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard on identity in blockchain.
To preserve capital, fixed income dominates its investment portfolio, with a 62% allocation as at end-2014, while 29% was in equities.Within the fixed income allocation, Spanish government bonds made up 8.9% of the total portfolio, with 4.6% in bonds issued by the Basque government, and 3.2% by the Italian government.Stable returns are achieved by investing in international markets. At end-2014, 81% of the portfolio was invested in the EU, with 3% in the US.Volatility in investment returns during 2014 was 4.9%.However, there was also an emphasis on investing in the local economy. Investments in the Basque Country and Navarra form 14% of the total portfolio.This includes 2.8% invested in Orza, an asset manager set up to invest in Basque businesses, in which Geroa has a 50% stake.The 9.39% return for 2014 compares with 14.07% for the previous year.While attributing most of the return to the “very positive” growth in profitability of fixed income assets, the fund’s annual report said: “The evolution of equity has also been positive, though very unequal between countries and sector.”Turning to the investment outlook for the rest of 2015, the report said the success of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme would be key in relation to the definitive end of the crisis in the euro-zone.But it warned that social and political risks were also important, with a number of elections this year and a rise in support for euro-sceptic parties.As for the domestic economy, in 2014, the Spanish government announced a demand stimulus programme to offset falling exports.The report said: “The Spanish situation, according to the financial markets, is clearly positive, as internal demand compensates for less dynamism in the external sector.“During 2015, Spain could be the euro-zone country that grows the most. However, it has important imbalances in labour creation and public debt.” Geroa Pentsioak EPSV, the multi-sector pension fund for workers in Gipuzkoa, a province in Spain’s Basque Country, has announced a return of 9.39% for calendar 2014 on its €1.53bn-worth investment portfolio.This takes the average annual return since the fund’s inception in 1996 to 6.59%.Geroa Pentsioak is a unique concept in Spain, providing supplementary pension cover for medium and low-paid workers, rather than for those with higher incomes.Its investment policy is to generate a return 2-3 percentage points above Spanish inflation.