Coinbase Hires Former Wall Street Executive As Chief Compliance Offer
The so-called “Wall Street migration” has continued, with executives and employees from legacy markets piling onto crypto-centric startups in a search for the ‘next big thing’.
As per a blog post from Asiff Hirji, Coinbase’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Horowitz will be joining Coinbase as the firm’s new Chief Compliance Officer, with this role helping the platform see eye-to-eye with regulators.
Horowitz joins Coinbase with years of experience under his belt, with nearly 12 years as a Managing Director at Pershing, one of the world’s largest custody and financial settlement firms, with over $25 trillion under management.
Jeff also comes with experience with regulatory compliance, as he was also a Head of Compliance, Chief Compliance Officer and the Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering at the financial giant. Before his decade of experience at Pershing, the new Coinbase hire led a variety of AML and compliance programs at well-known names, like Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and Salomon Brothers.
Taking this substantial level of experience into account, it is logical that Coinbase took the opportunity to hire such an established person. Hirji wrote:
His experience managing matters related to broker-dealer regulation, asset custodianship, and AML programs makes him a uniquely qualified leader for our compliance team…
Horowitz’s Role At Coinbase
As noted earlier, Horowitz joins Coinbase as a Chief Compliance Officer or CCO as the role is better known.
To be frank, the cryptocurrency industry isn’t seen in the best light by many regulators. Many see investing into this nascent asset class as risky, baseless, and a waste of time. This negative sentiment has led to multiple crypto-related firms coming under fire by regulators. While Coinbase has yet to run into any concerning legal issues, in such a regulatory-contested industry as crypto, compliance should be an absolute priority.
As pointed out in the blog, Coinbase has always strived to be the “world’s most trusted and easy-to-use cryptocurrency service,” so the addition of Horowitz to the firm’s expansive employee line-up should only allow the firm to continue to offer A-grade-level services for investors.
It was also noted that the hiring of this new CCO will take some weight off the shoulders of Mike Lempres, the firm’s Chief Legal and Risk Officer, who will now be able to focus on leading Coinbase’s “government relation efforts.”
Hirji closed off the blog post with a powerful statement, highlighting what this hire means to Coinbase at heart. The Coinbase President wrote:
Hiring Jeff is recognition on our part that navigating compliance complexities on a global scale requires a concerted, cross-functional effort, guided by leaders with experience that spans policy, financial services, and corporate governance.
Coinbase’s Rapidly Growing Aspirations
As reported by Ethereum World News, Coinbase has previously announced plans to become the first firm to offer the trading of crypto assets deemed securities by the SEC. There is a high possibility that the firm will run into regulatory concerns as a result of this move, as the industry is still in its early stages.
While Coinbase may still be a few months, if not years away from the competition of this plan, Horowitz’s experience and advice as a compliance-centric individual should help expedite the resolution of regulatory issues.