Morgan Stanley Gets New 'Head of Digital Asset Markets' in Andrew Peel

Morgan Stanley Gets New ‘Head of Digital Asset Markets’ in Andrew Peel

Powerhouse investment bank Morgan Stanley has yet to clarify if “Head of Digital Assets” is an inaugural role at the firm, though they’ve now confirmed the position’s new occupant: Andrew Peel. Peel comes by way of Credit Suisse, having spent the previous two years as the resident crypto expert at the heavyweight Swiss multinational. It’s only the latest hire in a recent spate that suggests Old Finance is gunning toward New Money. 

Also read: A Short-Lived Rally: Bitcoin Price to Go Sideways Again

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The fact that it’s not clear whether Andrew Peel’s position at Morgan Stanley is newly created suggests a) the role is, indeed, new, or b) that it’s already been around for some time with the bank trying to keep mum on proprietary plans while it puts pieces into place behind the scenes. For now, the bank hasn’t confirmed what Peel’s responsibilities are or will be.

Simply from parsing “Head of Digital Asset Markets,” it’s clear in the least that Peel will be leading a team specifically focused on crypto at the firm.

The title seemingly indicates Morgan Stanley is setting up its own cryptocurrency trading desk or desks. The hire comes after murmurs of a Morgan Stanley crypto desk first started gaining steam in late April 2018.

Peel himself comes to Morgan Stanley via Credit Suisse, having made a name for himself through two Vice Presidencies spanning 12 years at the Swiss bank — one as Derivatives Trader and the other with the firm’s Sales & Trading Innovation team.

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman may still not be sold on the fledgling digital assets space. But, with hirings like Peel’s coming on the heels of other powerhouse Wall Street firms making similar moves, it seems as if some of the world’s biggest financial players think crypto’s worth more than just a cursory glance.

Coinbase Nabs Its Own High-Profile Hire in New CCO

Earlier this week, Coinbase did some of its own poaching from the traditional world of finance, bringing aboard Jeff Horowitz, previously of Pershing LLC, as the rising exchange’s latest chief compliance officer.

A Bank of New York Mellon Corp. subsidiary, Pershing’s certainly no lightweight, currently being responsible for managing nearly $2 trillion USD in assets. Horowitz previously headed up the financial services firm’s own internationally-focused compliance department.

The hire marks Coinbase’s latest flex toward not just “playing by the rules,” but excelling at them. As CCO, Horowitz will help the ever-maturing exchange continue to navigate the globe’s evolving crypto-regulatory realities.

From left to right: Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong, CCO Horowitz, and President Asiff Hirji.

Of the hire, Coinbase President Asiff Hirji noted:

“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.”

What’s your take? Do you think there’s no turning back on crypto now for traditional financial institutions? Let us know in the comments section. 

Images via Coinbase, Charlotte Observer

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