State Street’s crypto boss is leaving the firm a year after setting up its digital assets department.
Nadine Chakar became head of digital assets in 2021, taking control of one of the biggest crypto teams in traditional finance.
A spokesperson for State Street confirmed her departure, adding that a permanent replacement had not yet been found.
The move comes as a setback for the bank at a time when competitors are working on their digital assets offerings at breakneck speed by the standards of legacy financial institutions.
Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s biggest custodian bank, said on 11 October it would begin receiving clients’ cryptocurrencies, becoming the first major US player to safeguard digital assets alongside traditional investments on the same platform.
JPMorgan launched its blockchain arm, Onyx, back in 2020, and recently said it was exploring a potential digital wallet service that would allow its users to control their digital identity across platforms.
In July, BNP Paribas Securities Services selected two crypto firms – Fireblocks and Metaco – to develop its own digital asset custody offering.
State Street, meanwhile, partnered with the Barclays-backed crypto firm Copper in March to work on its own digital assets custody offering.
Chakar sees tokenisation as the biggest growth area for the department. In a recent interview with Financial News, she said the bank was going “super gung-ho” on the process, which involves bringing existing trades onto the blockchain.
Chakar said about 80% of the digital assets unit’s projects involve tokenisation, which she thinks will help the bank trade “much better, faster, and more efficiently over time”. It has the potential to “change everything that we do,” she added.
A State Street spokesperson told FN that digital assets remained “an integral component of our overall strategy landscape”.
“We will be conducting a search for Nadine’s replacement and in the meantime she will continue to work with our digital team over the next several months.”
Chakar did not respond to requests for comment.
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