Alex Kriete, Co-Head of Digital Assets at Citi, announced his resignation from the banking giant after 11 years with the firm on March 10 via LinkedIn. He stated in his post that he plans to devote himself full-time to developing a new cryptocurrency company, but did not provide any additional details at the time.
Kriete led the Digital Assets Group with Greg Girasole for less than a year since the unit’s launch in June 2021. Girasole also announced his departure via LinkedIn and together he and Kriete are planning to start their own blockchain related venture. The two said they will share more details in the coming weeks.
Kriete’s enthusiasm for his new venture stemmed from a belief that digital assets “will continue to grow in importance for global capital markets and the shaping of new business models.” He added that a personal interest in digital assets with blockchain started more than five years ago and has now led him to want to “help the maturing of this market” on his own terms.
While Kriete and Girasole oversaw the digital asset group within Citi’s wealth management division, the bank has another digital asset unit within its Institutional Clients Group, which is led by the recently appointed Puneet Singhvi.
Recently, another Citi executive, Matt Zhang, also jumped ship to launch a $1.5 billion crypto fund called Hivemind Capital Partners, whose first technology partner is Algorand. And in a similar corporate leadership move, Roger Bartlett, a former Goldman Sachs president, decided it was “time to embrace the crypto economy” and left the bank to run Global Financial Operations at Coinbase.
Related: Coinbase Seeks New Director To Debate With Policymakers
Meanwhile, JPMorgan Chase is another bank pioneering the metaverse, which has opened a virtual lounge in the Decentraland metaverse as it hopes to capitalize on a $1 trillion market opportunity, the bank said.