Crypto hiring: Firms add TradFi veterans to executive ranks

Financial giant State Street is looking for a head of digital assets solutions and seeks to fill other crypto-related roles

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A digital asset market maker and a crypto liquidity provider have added TradFi veterans to their executive ranks.

Belgium-based Keyrock named Robert Valdes-Rodriguez its chief commercial officer and Francesco Adiliberti as chief operating officer. 

The TradFi veterans have decades of combined experience at some of the largest financial institutions. Prior to working as Abra’s global head of sales, Valdes-Rodriguez held foreign exchange sales roles at Crédit Agricole and Scotiabank. Before his time at Amber Group Adiliberti held director positions at Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and HSBC.

Keyrock CEO Kevin de Patoul said in a statement that the appointments come as the company seeks to focus more on bridging the gap between crypto and TradFi. 

“Their extensive experience across both domains will be instrumental in developing innovative solutions that empower institutions to seamlessly integrate and thrive in the rapidly evolving token economy,” he added.

A former Goldman Sachs pro has joined crypto liquidity provider B2C2 — joining the company’s sales team focused on Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Nickolay Karpenko, who spent roughly seven years at Goldman Sachs, was most recently an executive director on the firm’s digital assets team.

“With 15 years in investment banking, Nikolay brings deep expertise in structured products and strategic trading,” B2C2 said in a LinkedIn post. “His arrival highlights our commitment to client experience and expanding our presence.”

The EMEA hire comes after B2C2 acquired Paris-based market maker Woorton last year, allowing the company to facilitate crypto trading across the EU.

As some crypto firms bring in execs with TradFi backgrounds, the opposite is true too.

Though by no means a stranger to crypto, State Street is better known as one of the world’s largest custodian banks and asset managers. The company is looking to build out its digital assets-focused unit, job postings indicate. 

The expected hires were first reported by The Information.

“We remain focused on developing and growing our digital capabilities, and continuously evaluate staffing and capacity needs across our digital business to focus on key projects — including tokenization — to ensure we have the best model in place to deliver on behalf of our clients and that we are continually driving forward innovation,” State Street Digital lead Donna Milrod told Blockworks in an email.

Read more: State Street Sees ‘Significant Opportunity’ in Tokenization

State Street is seeking, for example, a head of digital assets solutions that would be “a strategic and creative thought leader with a deep understanding of digital asset technology and extensive institutional experience,” one job listing notes.

The ideal candidate will have a track record developing and implementing products and services related to blockchain tech, smart contracts, tokenization, wallet technologies and cryptocurrencies, it adds.  

Other postings indicate State Street is also looking for three product managers to help lead digital services in the EMEA region, as well as a business risk and digital asset controls executive.


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