Komainu, the digital asset custody firm, announced a new CEO Nicolas Bertrand, who previously was Head of Derivatives Markets and Commodities of Borsa Italiana. Before that, he spent almost ten years as Head of Equities and Derivatives at the London Stock Exchange. Bertrand is also an ambassador for Italy of the Global Blockchain Business Council.
The institutional custody startup is a joint venture between Nomura, custody technology firm Ledger, and Coinshares, the digital asset fund manager.
“Whilst the digital asset ecosystem has been impacted by the global macro environment, institutional adoption is continuing to accelerate, presenting significant opportunities for Komainu,” said Jezri Mohideen, CEO at Nomura’s newly formed digital assets venture Laser Digital.
He commented on Bertrand’s appointment, “As CEO he will capitalize on emerging opportunities and lead the entity through its next phase of growth. Nicolas has a strong professional background in financial market infrastructure as well as digital assets and his experience will be key to delivering additional value to Komainu and its global client base.”
Komainu launched in Jersey, UK, in June 2020 and received a Series A funding of $25 million in mid-2021, led by Alan Howard of Elwood Asset Management and including Galaxy Digital, NOIA Capital and Nomura Research Institute (NRI). This July, it received preliminary regulatory approval in Dubai.
The startup was an early mover in the institutional digital asset custody space and was followed by Zodia, Standard Chartered’s initiative. Last year the big players BNY Mellon and State Street said they would also offer custody services. More recently, multiple securities services firms announced offerings, such as BNP Paribas Securities Servies and SocGen Securities Services.