Genesis Global Trading, an institutional over-the-counter (OTC) cryptocurrency trading and lending firm, has strengthened its leadership team with four new hires and is expanding into Europe.
The new appointments are across legal, technology and business development functions, Genesis announced Monday. Arianna Pretto-Sakmann has joined the firm as general counsel, Pat DeFrancesco as chief technology officer (CTO), Leon Marshall as head of European business development and Dan Torrey as head of institutional sales.
Pretto-Sakmann joined Genesis in May and is advising the firm on all legal aspects of its trading and lending businesses. "As we look to grow and expand into Europe, what permissions, what data can we keep under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), are some of the regulatory questions Pretto-Sakmann has been able to help us with so we don't do something wrong overseas," Genesis CEO, Michael Moro, told The Block.
Pretto-Sakmann was previously an attorney, where she advised banks, broker-dealers, clearing houses and exchanges on cross-border regulatory matters.
Moro told The Block that the firm always had European clients since it got into the cryptocurrency space back in 2013, but it "never dedicated" business development efforts in the region before. The lending activity has also grown since Marshall's joining, Moro said, adding that "his role is to find new lending and borrowing counter-parties."
Genesis is also exploring to hire "Marshall equivalent" in Asia as well, Moro said, as there is "so much activity overseas." On the trading side, there is "a lot of retail activity. My guess is that a lot of the trading volumes we do get will be the result of lending clients giving us more business as opposed to a stand-alone trading guy."
Torrey, on the other hand, joined Genesis, a Digital Currency Group company, earlier this year for developing its lending and trading pipeline. He previously worked at Northern Trust as the global head of forex e-commerce sales.
Whilst Genesis expands into new territories, it is also looking to upgrade its tech stack.
DeFrancesco joined Genesis last month and is responsible for expanding the firm's trading technology and quantitative research.
Moro wouldn't speak of the firm's exact technology ambitions, but it's possible they are building an integrated platform where trading and lending can be accessed through one clickable graphical user interface.
Moro hinted at users being able to get lending rates via an application programming interface so that customers won't have to call or email the firm.
"We are looking to have an equally strong tech stack to compliment everything we are doing on the business development side. We have 5 test developers," he added.
Genesis' current headcount is 25, compared to 15 a year ago, Moro told The Block, adding that the firm will continue to hire across functions to bring the total number of employees to 35 by the end of this year.
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