Latest in Crypto Hiring: Law Firm Adds ex-SEC, CFTC Pros

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  • Web3-focused strat­e­gy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm hires ex-Coin­Tele­graph CEO
  • Cryp­to prime bro­ker­age adds direc­tor of mar­ket­ing from Fireblocks

Law firm Willkie Farr & Gal­lagher hired dig­i­tal asset attor­ney Kari Larsen as a part­ner who will co-lead its dig­i­tal-focused prac­tice in New York.

Larsen joins the firm from Perkins Coie, where she co-led the blockchain, dig­i­tal asset and cus­tody group with­in its fin­tech prac­tice. She began her career as inter­na­tion­al oper­a­tions coun­sel for the enforce­ment divi­sion of the Com­mod­i­ty Futures Trad­ing Com­mis­sion (CFTC), advis­ing on cross-bor­der pol­i­cy matters. 

She will help advise clients on issues relat­ed to cryp­tocur­ren­cy and dig­i­tal asset trans­ac­tion­al, reg­u­la­to­ry and enforce­ment matters.

The exec­u­tive will co-head the unit with Alice­son “Kristi­na” Littman, who joined the firm ear­li­er this month from the SEC, where she was chief of its cryp­to assets and cyber unit, as well as Justin Brow­der, who has worked as a part­ner in Willkie’s asset man­age­ment depart­ment for the last few years. 

J. Christo­pher Gian­car­lo, senior coun­sel at Willkie and a for­mer chair­man of the CFTC, will con­tin­ue co-lead­ing the practice.

“With the addi­tions of Kari and Kristy, along with Justin tak­ing on a lead­er­ship role, our team com­bines a high­ly skilled focus on dig­i­tal assets akin to a bou­tique fin­tech firm with the rig­or, dis­ci­pline and reach of one of the world’s pre­mier inter­na­tion­al law firms,” Gian­car­lo said in a statement.

Cryp­to prime bro­ker­age Float­ing Point Group hired Chris Hazel­ton as its direc­tor of marketing. 

Hazel­ton led mar­ket­ing teams for cus­tody tech­nol­o­gy provider Fire­blocks, mobile secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny Look­out and BlackBerry’s enter­prise soft­ware division.

The appoint­ment comes about a month after Float­ing Point Group hired Wells Fargo’s for­mer head of elec­tron­ic trad­ing sales to over­see busi­ness devel­op­ment in the US and through­out Asia Pacific. 

Jereme Holi­man has joined Shardeum, an Ethereum Vir­tu­al Machine (EVM)-based shard­ed blockchain, as its vice pres­i­dent of people.

Holi­man was most recent­ly the co-founder and vice pres­i­dent of peo­ple oper­a­tions at insur­ance tech plat­form Clyde. He also co-found­ed UrbanStem, a flo­ral and gift­ing e‑commerce business.

Shardeum is seek­ing to dou­ble the size of its engi­neer­ing team over the next six months.

“Regard­less of the cross-indus­try slow­down in hir­ing, we are march­ing for­ward to fur­ther expand our ecosys­tem in India and around the world,” Shardeum CEO Nis­chal Shet­ty said in a statement. 

Dig­i­tal asset-backed secu­ri­ties provider ETC Group expand­ed its Euro­pean team by adding Jan Alt­mann and Alan Boul­himez as direc­tors of invest­ment strategy. 

Pri­or to join­ing ETC group, Alt­mann devel­oped the ETF mar­ket at Deutsche Börse, and was a senior ETF ana­lyst at JustETF. Boul­himez was most recent­ly head of inter­nal sales at First Trust, and also pre­vi­ous­ly worked as a finan­cial advi­sor at AXA.

DeFi start­up Nova Finance appoint­ed Zaahi­rah Adam as its first chief oper­at­ing officer. 

Adam most recent­ly worked as chief of staff at finance plat­form Liberis. Pri­or to that, she was head of strat­e­gy and exe­cu­tion at UK-based Capi­ta Pen­sion Solutions.

“Per­son­al finance, pay­ments and finan­cial free­dom has been a long­stand­ing pas­sion of mine,” Adam said in a state­ment. “I am excit­ed to be mov­ing into a space which has such incred­i­ble poten­tial to democ­ra­tize and open up the finan­cial ecosystem.”

Nova Finance raised $3 mil­lion in a seed round last year from investors includ­ing Ani­mo­ca Brands, SkyVi­sion Cap­i­tal, Rare­stone Cap­i­tal and Solana. 

Sev­er­al months after merg­ing its teams respon­si­ble for dig­i­tal asset mar­kets and those focused on mar­ket access and insights across tra­di­tion­al secu­ri­ties, North­ern Trust added a new leader to the com­bined unit.

Pre­vi­ous­ly the company’s head of mar­ket advo­ca­cy and inno­va­tion research for Europe, the Mid­dle East and Africa, Michael Buz­za will now work as glob­al head of net­work man­age­ment and mar­ket strategy. 

Wachs­man, a strat­e­gy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm advis­ing Web3 and fin­tech com­pa­nies, hired ex-Coin­Tele­graph CEO Jay Cas­sano as its chief growth officer.

Cas­sano was edi­tor-in-chief for the cryp­to media com­pa­ny for a year before becom­ing its chief exec­u­tive in Sep­tem­ber 2020. 

In case you missed it

Algo­rand hired Michele Quin­taglie, a for­mer head of com­mu­ni­ca­tions at Fideli­ty Invest­ments’ asset man­age­ment arm and Visa, as its chief mar­ket­ing offi­cer

Binance revealed this week the cre­ation of a glob­al board of advi­sors that will focus on help­ing the cryp­to exchange nav­i­gate reg­u­la­to­ry com­plex­i­ties in the space. Max Bau­cus, a for­mer US sen­a­tor for Mon­tana and America’s ex-ambas­sador to Chi­na, was named chair of the group. 

Japan-based finan­cial giant Nomu­ra launched Laser Dig­i­tal, which will start by invest­ing in com­pa­nies that focus on DeFi, cen­tral­ized finance, Web3 and blockchain infrastructure. 

Steven Ash­ley, for­mer­ly head of Nomura’s whole­sale divi­sion, has stepped down to help lead Laser Dig­i­tal as its chair. Jez Mohideen, who joined Nomu­ra in 2018 as a glob­al chief dig­i­tal offi­cer, is set to be the new business’s CEO.


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  • Ben Strack
    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]

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