FTX's head of OTC and institutional sales has quietly left the firm

Quick Take

  • Jonathan Cheesman quietly left FTX last month after joining the crypto exchange in May 2021, sources tell The Block.
  • Cheesman was brought in by FTX to court traditional financial institutions into crypto markets.

Crypto exchange giant FTX's head of over-the-counter and institutional sales, Jonathan Cheesman, is no longer working for the company, two sources with knowledge of the matter told The Block.

Cheesman joined FTX in May 2021 and was tasked with bringing traditional financial institutions into crypto markets, having previously worked at HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Barclays. He began trading crypto in 2017, with a prior partnership at crypto investment company Distributed Global. He told The Block last year after he joined FTX that he would be "a bridge between traditional finance and crypto natives" at the exchange operator. 

Cheesman also headed Access, FTX's investor advisory services unit. An FTX-related account on Twitter that he set up hasn't been active since August.

The exchange said through a spokesperson that it won't be hiring a replacement for Cheesman, saying it has a full team in place to handle the role.

Cheesman has returned to his own  firm  JCi Advisory Ltd , which he set up last year before joining FTX, one of the two sources said. The source said that FTX is also a client of the advisory firm, among others.

In the 16 months Cheesman served as FTX head OTC and institutional sales, the exchange averaged $64.08 billion in volume with a peak in November 2021 of $92.51 billion based on data from The Block Research.

The industry has seen a share of departures in recent months. Last month, FTX US president Brett Harrison stepped back to an advisory role. In the same month, Celsius Network CEO Alex Mashinsky resigned, a move that was followed by a sharp decline in the price of the network’s token, CEL. In addition, former CEO of Kraken, Jesse Powell, stepped down to make way for incoming CEO David Ripley. Earlier today, bitcoin investment services firm NYDIG’s CEO Robert Gutmann and president Yan Zhao left roles at the company.

Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.