Citi’s Co-Heads of Digital Assets Leave to Launch Crypto Startup

Alex Kriete and Greg Girasole, who led the newly-launched digital asset group for Wall Street giant Citigroup, have announced their departure.

Citi Execs Bid Adieu

According to Kriete’s LinkedIn post, the duo is all set to create their own startup in the blockchain and digital asset space.

“Over five years ago my personal interest and subsequent writing about blockchain-enabled digital assets (yes, “crypto”) led to an amazing network of colleagues across Citi businesses, external companies, and interested clients, and at this time I will be taking on a new challenge professionally by creating a new company in this space.”

Ex-Citi exec said that he believed in digital assets. He stated that the sector would continue to grow to global capital market and the creation of new business models. He went on to add that he is excited to “assist in the maturation of this market.”

Girasole and Kriete are not the only Citi execs who have left the firm in order to explore the digital asset world. Matt Zhang, the former head of structured product trading, founded Hivemind, a crypto-focused investing platform that focuses on blockchain tech, crypto companies and the digital asset ecosystem.

Additionally, Citi veteran Christopher Perkins announced leaving the company after almost 13 years to join a New York-based crypto investment fund – CoinFund – as president and managing partner.

Citi’s Crypto Expansion

Citi entered crypto wealth management in June 2021, after it announced the launch of a new business unit dedicated exclusively to blockchain and cryptocurrency space.

Dubbed ‘Digital Assets Group,’ the initiative would be a part of the firm’s wealth management division. It tasked Alex Kriete and Greg Girasole to lead the latest unit on developing products and work closely with Citi’s functional partners and the broader Capital Markets and Citi Investment Management team.

Citi’s digital asset team was growing five months later when it announced plans to hire 100 more employees. Puneet Singvi was appointed the new head for the division in order to devise a strategy that would facilitate internal operations like trading, investment banking, securities services and other digital assets.

The unit’s main purpose was to interact with key internal and external stakeholders, including startups and regulators.

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