• Unit’s new global head of digital assets is a Wall Street veteran who is joining from IBM
  • Bank’s TTS division head previously revealed it was working on deposit tokenization and network interoperability for fiat currencies and digital money

Wall Street giant Citi has added two crypto-focused leaders to its Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) unit as the bank looks to compete in the space.

The unit, a division of Citi’s Institutional Clients Group (ICG), offers cash management, trade services and finance to corporations, financial institutions and public sector organizations.

“Citi TTS aims to deliver market-leading solutions that enable both Citi and our clients to thrive and compete in today’s digital world, and becoming a leader in digital assets is key to this broader goal,” a spokesperson told Blockworks. 

Ryan Rugg joins as the division’s global head of digital assets, while David Cunningham is director of strategic partnerships for digital assets. The executives will be based in New York and Dublin, respectively. 

Rugg, who earlier in her career spent 14 years at Wall Street companies Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, was most recently IBM’s head of blockchain services for the Americas. Before that, she worked in various leadership roles during her five-year stint at enterprise software firm R3.

Cunningham was previously the chief commercial officer at LexTego, a company focused on transaction monitoring to prevent financial crime. He was also the chairperson of crypto exchange Coinmama, which was acquired by Wellfield Technologies in May.

Citi solidifying crypto executive roster

The news follows Citi’s appointment of Puneet Singhvi in November as head of digital assets for its institutional client wing ICG. 

A spokesperson told Blockworks at the time that Citi intended to fill up to 100 additional roles to support its digital asset capabilities across the group. 

Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser told Yahoo Finance the month prior that digital assets would be part of the future of financial services, noting the company was working to connect clients to wallets and enable corporations to accept consumer payments.

The bank also announced a $1 billion investment in payments and treasury innovations earlier this year. Citi identifies strategies that help drive revenue, facilitate payments and provide liquidity and working capital support, a spokesperson said.

Shahmir Khaliq, global head of TTS, said during Citi’s investor day in March that the company is engaging with central banks on digital currencies. He added that Citi is working on tokenizing deposits alongside on- and off-ramp capabilities to provide network interoperability for fiat currencies and digital money.

Later in March, the bank’s analysts projected the Web3 economy to reach between $8 trillion and $13 trillion by 2030.

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  • Ben Strack is a Denver-based reporter covering macro and crypto-native funds, financial advisors, structured products, and the integration of digital assets and decentralized finance (DeFi) into traditional finance. Prior to joining Blockworks, he covered the asset management industry for Fund Intelligence and was a reporter and editor for various local newspapers on Long Island. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in journalism. Contact Ben via email at [email protected]