• Michael Roberts will lead Copper’s new prime infrastructure team
  • The appointments come after Copper hired a chief operating officer and chief legal officer last month

Digital asset custodian Copper has hired five former Bank of America Merrill Lynch employees to lead the expansion of its prime infrastructure offerings. 

The appointees include Michael Roberts, Adam Groom, Paul Barham, Ben Carr and Ross Budgen, the company announced Monday. The new additions will report to Copper Chief Revenue Officer Boris Bohrer-Bilowitzki.

Roberts spent 16 years at Bank of America, according to his LinkedIn profile, most recently as a managing director and head of the bank’s prime platform for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). He is now set to lead the new prime infrastructure team.

“I have watched Copper from afar for some years now and been continuously impressed at the speed and quality of the solutions they bring to market,” Roberts said in a statement. “Boris and the team understand the technology institutional investors want and need to pursue crypto strategies.”

Groom and Barham, who led relationship management and product development, respectively, for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s prime platform in EMEA, join Roberts on the Copper team. 

Carr and Budgen add expertise in product development, account management and analytics.

The ex-Bank of America Merrill Lynch members will help build Copper’s prime infrastructure offering with custody, collateral management and hedging services, a firm spokesperson told Blockworks in an email. 

Founded in 2018, Copper offers custody, trading and settlement solutions for institutional investors across 450 cryptoassets and roughly 45 exchanges.

The planned expansion comes as more prime brokers join the Copper ecosystem and its ClearLoop network, according to the company. Launched in 2020, ClearLoop removes the need for institutional investors to transfer digital assets onto an exchange before being able to trade and includes collateral management for crypto derivatives.

The latest appointments come shortly after the company named Sabrina Wilson as its chief operating officer and Carly Nuzbach Lowery as chief legal officer last month.  

Wilson was most recently global co-head of Citi’s futures, over-the-counter clearing and foreign exchange prime brokerage business. She has also served in various roles at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank.

Nuzbach Lowery joined Copper from Coinbase, where she was associate general counsel in London. Prior to that, she was senior legal counsel at Uber and Barclays. 

The move is part of a larger migration of talent from traditional finance to crypto. 

“While we have seen a couple of folks make this move, it appears to us — at the moment, at least — far from a trend,” Lawrence Lieberman, senior managing director at recruiting company The Orion Group, told Blockworks. “We have certainly had more crypto-related conversations than expected over the past few months. [There’s] lots of intrigue, but still enough uncertainty to make this a move only for the real risk-takers.”


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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]