LC Lite, the newly-launched blockchain-based platform for letters of credit, has hired Duncan Klein as head of funding.

Based in Singapore, where he has lived for the last 12 years, Klein will lead a new alternative investment asset class based on digitised trade finance purchase orders to institutional and accredited investors in Asia and Emea.

Klein’s prior experience includes a 21-year tenure at JP Morgan, where he launched the bank’s transition management business in Asia, with responsibility for the growth of sales, revenue and profitability, securing new markets and developing product management.

LC Lite was launched in February by the founders of Singapore-based invoice finance provider Incomlend. The platform uses blockchain technology to solve many of the current challenges faced with the existing LC model related to funds, delays, fraud and centralisation.

In an LC Lite transaction, importers and exporters directly establish smart contracts which digitally replicate the LC instrument. Once the contract is digitally sealed, importers submit the title to the trade to investors in the form of a token for the corresponding value. These tokens serve as a means of payment booking for the LC contract, means of ownership transfer and vehicle to trade that contract between different parties on the LC Lite platform.

“The tokens circulate only within the LC Lite ecosystem and are based on the intrinsic demand for opening and processing LC contracts, allowing for an LC contract to become a tradable asset between investors,” a spokesperson told GTR in February, adding that investors will include existing trade finance providers, together with funds, institutions and accredited investors.

Klein is also a seed investor of Incomlend, and has been involved with LC Lite since January in an advisory capacity prior to taking on this role.

Speaking about Klein’s appointment, Dimitri Kouchnirenko, co-founder of LC Lite, says: “Duncan has a great reputation in Singapore and important expertise in facilitating the growth of both global companies and start-ups. We’re really pleased to have him join LC Lite, adding his extensive experience and knowledge to the senior management team as the company goes from strength to strength and we continue onboarding new clients.”