A $500M Precious Metal Business Started From Underneath A Bed
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(Kitco News) - Gregor Gregersen said his Singapore-based Silver Bullion company, which has US$500M in total sales since founding, had humble beginnings rooted in the financial crisis.
Gregersen spoke to Kitco on Friday at the Palisade Global Hard Asset Conference on Jekyll Island.
While working as a programmer at Commerzbank in 2008, Gregersen witnessed the financial collapse from the trading floor and saw the financial system as very fragile.
"Once bankers lose confidence in next bank's counterparty, they will not be sending money," said Gregersen.
"When that happens, everything freezes. Things will just start collapsing."
He became fascinated with precious metal. Gregersen said he was drawn to precious metals because there is no counterparty risk.
"People don't know the difference between being owed something and owning something."
He moved to Singapore and started his business by storing silver under his bed and meeting customers at train stations to make a sale.
Gregersen said his IT skills and a solid website helped grow the business, which is now 10 years old. He said there is a technology divide in the industry.
"Overall, there is a big partition between vaults, which are very traditional entities. Vaults also have low margins, and there is not a lot of innovation.
"On the other hand there are technology companies that automate things, but they may not have the insight on how a vault works. They may be building something that is not as tested."
"It takes a while for things to really work out."