CRYPTO

Citi’s Co-Heads of Digital Assets Leave to Launch Crypto Startup

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Greg Girasole and Alex Kriete, who were spearheading the recently-launched digital assets group for Wall Street giant Citigroup have announced departing the firm.

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Citi Execs Bid Adieu

According to Kriete’s LinkedIn post, the duo is all set to create their own startup in the blockchain and digital asset space.

“Over five years ago my personal interest and subsequent writing about blockchain-enabled digital assets (yes, “crypto”) led to an amazing network of colleagues across Citi businesses, external companies, and interested clients, and at this time I will be taking on a new challenge professionally by creating a new company in this space.”

The former Citi exec also said that he believes in the importance of digital assets and stated that the sector will continue to grow to global capital markets and the shaping of new business models. He went on to add that he is excited to “assist in the maturation of this market.”

Apart from Girasole and Kriete, several Citi execs had previously left the firm to pursue the digital asset realm. The former head of structured products trading Matt Zhang founded a crypto-focused investment platform called Hivemind that is dedicated to blockchain tech, crypto companies, and the digital assets ecosystem.

Additionally, Citi veteran Christopher Perkins announced leaving the company after almost 13 years to join a New York-based crypto investment fund – CoinFund – as president and managing partner.


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Citi’s Crypto Expansion

Citi broke into crypto wealth management in June 2021 after announcing the launch of a new business unit dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain space.

Dubbed ‘Digital Assets Group,’ the initiative would be a part of the firm’s wealth management division. It tasked Alex Kriete and Greg Girasole to lead the latest unit on developing products and work closely with Citi’s functional partners and the broader Capital Markets and Citi Investment Management team.

Five months later, Citi revealed plans to grow its digital asset team by onboarding 100 new employees. Puneet Singhvi was appointed as the new head of the division to develop a strategy to facilitate various internal operations, such as trading, investment banking, and securities services, to work together with digital assets and blockchain technology.

The main objective behind the unit was to engage with important internal and external stakeholders including clients, startups, and regulators.

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