It’s great to meet someone who seems to have stepped right out of the history books.
Like Lorenzo de Medici, the Florentine prince who sponsored Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, many others - and whose family set up the Medici Bank - for a long time the richest and most famous of European lenders.
OK, it wasn’t Lorenzo the Magnificent I met, of course
-- he passed away in 1492.
It was his direct descendant - the man who shares his name and other qualities : intelligence, and a flair for philanthropy and innovation.
Fortunately, Lorenzo the (very) younger does not share other gifts : like a propensity for waging wars.
Compare their images - you can see a little resemblance, can’t you?
The Medicis gave us banking tools we still use today : the ledger system and double-entry book-keeping - and the money cheque. Much easier than carrying around bags of gold. And until they broke their golden rule on lending, they thrived - for a little over one hundred years.
You can hear what they got wrong in my interview with the (newest) Lorenzo de Medici. And hear how, after 500 years - the Medicis are back in banking.
Medici Bank International is going to be very different, of course. In particular it’s all going to be online.
It’s also going to use blockchain encryption to look after your money.
This is apparently unusual among banks, and safer, and much cheaper.
Lorenzo says American banks in particular are resisting using this system - because they can get more money out of you, using the old-fashioned techniques.
I met Lorenzo at the CampdenFB European Families in Business Awards in Milan a couple of weeks ago.
Again we saw a glittering array of the hardest working and brightest individuals creating the world around us.
Here's a short video showing the award winners...