HOUSE, Issue 37

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In this month’s issue we have seen some fascinating moves within the crypto currency world and an increase in demand for compliance officers in EU hubs post Brexit.


Bitcoin captured global curiosity following its monumental rise in 2017. To name a few, banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan are hiring their first cryptocurrency traders and Heads of Crypto- Assets Strategy to lead their efforts within this newly founded industry. Likewise, government authorities and regulators from around the world have vowed to make concerted efforts to address the industry and develop regulations as the market evolves.

Ripple made headlines in November 2017 when it announced Benjamin Lawsky was joining its Board. Lawsky was perviously the Superintendent of Financial Services for the State of New York and best known for his pursuit of Standard Chartered over sanctions violations. Crypto brokerage Omega followed suit in January by enlisting Bart Chilton, formerly of the CFTC to its Board.

In Asia, Hong Kong based Genesis Mining, recently named Shah Hafizi as Chief Compliance Officer and Americas General Counsel. Haifzi was previously the Chief Compliance Officer at BlackRock. In similar fashion Monaco, a pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform have been making additional compliance and cybersecurity hires in their Hong Kong office. Finally, Ellis Gyngos, formerly a consultant with Kroll in Hong Kong has launched a Crypto due-diligence and rating agency called Know Your Token.

With the inevitable development of the crypto regulatory structure there will be an increasing need for professional advice to interpret those rules. As such the “Cryptocurrency Compliance Officer” is born.

New EU Hubs?

EU passport holding compliance officers are in demand! The Brexit process has helped some cities above others, with the three main beneficiaries emerging as Dublin, Luxembourg and Frankfurt. This has led to an increase in compliance officers being based in EU locations, at a cost to the UK.

The main hiring is in advisory compliance and positions managing regulatory relationships at Director and Senior Director level. This is to be expected where the most senior regulatory and compliance positions within Continental European operations were generally at the Head of Country level. Bank of America have just moved senior MD Oliver Geffroy to Dublin to perform such a role.

Since the UK’s decision to leave the EU, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Standard Chartered and Nomura have all picked Frankfurt for their EU headquarters. Goldman Sachs is also looking to double its 400 staff in the city with the acquisition of space in a new tower, with an option to take more. JP Morgan is ramping up a number of EU sites, with plans to move up to 1,000 London roles. A raft of Asian banks including Nomura, Daiwa, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) and Mizuho Securities are also on track to expand their operations in the German financial hub.

Arion House has been involved in a number of EU-based processes during 2018 and would be happy to share any specifics insights should you require them.