GSR appoints first Chief Legal Officer

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GSR, a specialist in digital asset trading, has appointed Eva Sanchez as its first Chief Legal Officer and a Member of its Executive Team. 

The firm has also named former JP Morgan compliance executive Eugene Ferrara as its Chief Compliance Officer.

These appointments reflect a broader shift by experienced professionals from top-tier institutions into the digital asset market, which is undergoing institutionalisation as major asset managers, hedge funds and other players look to expand their investments and services in the space. Drawing upon parallels to how commodities market structure and regulation took shape in the early 2000s, GSR is taking a proactive stance in working with regulators and policy makers to set standards, creating rigorous controls and building a trading and compliance framework akin to that developed for mature asset classes.

Sanchez joins GSR from AQR Capital Management, one of the pre-eminent quantitative managers, where she led their international legal and compliance operations during a period of considerable growth and structural change. Prior to AQR, as EMEA General Counsel and Head of Compliance, she oversaw the growth of Citadel’s highly successful hedge fund and market making businesses at a time of significant market structure and regulatory change. Sanchez, a linguist by background, started her legal career at Clifford Chance advising clients from the firm’s London, Madrid and Milan offices. 

GSR’s new Chief Compliance Officer, Ferrara, was formerly an Executive Director at JP Morgan in their Markets Compliance Group where he also served as Chief Compliance Officer for their swap dealer business. Prior to that he was at Morgan Stanley and oversaw compliance for their futures and options trading operations. An expert in electronic trading compliance, Mr. Ferrara started his career as part of the market surveillance team of the now CME Group.

Cris Gil, Co-Founder of GSR, says: “We are very pleased to be attracting great talent from top tier institutions. These individuals are choosing GSR to pursue the extensive growth and leadership opportunities that the digital asset market provides. Many of us played a role in the modernisation of the commodities and derivatives markets in the early 2000s and we want to bring the same sophistication to an asset class that institutions are now embracing. Eva and Eugene are highly respected in the industry and we are excited to bring them onboard and have them help GSR lead its efforts to further instil the controls, structure and regulatory rigour that will drive our industry forward.”

Sanchez says: “This is a unique and exciting opportunity to be able to shape the future of this emerging asset class together with all the broader policy and macro-economic ramifications it entails. I relish the challenge of working with my new GSR colleagues, policy makers across the globe and other market participants more broadly all the while operating at the cutting edge of this new industry. Above all, institutions are counting on their digital asset partners to deliver not only a seamless experience from an operational perspective, but to help lead the way in terms of regulatory compliance and policy. I’m looking forward to helping GSR continue building its reputation as one of the leaders in the space as well as expanding into new areas.”