Capital markets News

Leadership change at StanChart digital asset firm Zodia Custody

Standard Chartered Bank

The founding CEO of Standard Chartered’s Zodia Custody, Maxime de Guillebon, has stepped down as a director of the digital asset custody firm. Julian Sawyer has been confirmed as the new CEO.

For a year and a half, Sawyer was CEO of cryptocurrency exchange BitStamp until May 9, 2022. That followed a brief stint at Gemini Europe and a four-year term at UK challenger bank Starling where he was Chief Operating Officer.

Zodia described it as a planned succession with Sawyer’s experience designed to accelerate the firm’s path from startup to scale up.

UK-based Zodia Custody has Northern Trust as a minority partner that owns 5%. To date, the two owners have funded the startup to the tune of $60 million. It received approval from the UK regulator, the FCA, in mid-2021.

In a December announcement, Zodia Custody launched Interchange, which offers an alternative to pre-funding and margin models on exchanges. Zodia Custody enables clients to keep assets using Interchange, which can be mirrored on a cryptocurrency exchange but are protected in the case of an exchange bankruptcy.

There are two Zodia brands, one for custody and the other is a crypto brokerage Zodia Markets, through a partnership with Hong Kong exchange OSL.

In July, Standard Chartered announced a partnership with Japan’s SBI to build a digital asset ecosystem involving SC Ventures. At the time, SBI mentioned a digital asset custody joint venture between a ‘global UK enterprise’ and two SBI subsidiaries, SBI Digital Assets Holdings and crypto exchange SBI VC Trade.

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