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The Libra Association announced Stuart Levey as its first ever CEO while also adding Robert Werner as its general counsel and three new members to its ranks.

libra 4283995 1920Levey comes with a background in banking, regulation and national security from both the public and private sectors, according to the independent membership group backed by Facebook. Libra, according to an updated white paper, is working toward building a “blockchain-based payment system supporting financial inclusion and responsible financial services innovation.”

Currently, Levey is chief legal officer at HSBC but will be stepping down this summer to take his post at Libra. Prior to his time with HSBC, he served as the first ever under secretary of the treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence for former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

“I am honored to join the Libra Association as it charts a bold path forward to harness the power of technology to transform the global payments landscape,” said Levey. Technology provides us with the opportunity to make it easier for individuals and businesses to send and receive money, and to empower more than a billion people who have been left on the sidelines of the financial system, all with robust controls to detect and deter illicit financial activity. I look forward to working closely with governments, regulators, and all of our stakeholders to realize this vision.”

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Werner, prior to his new role, founded and ran GRH Consulting. He, too, spent time with HSBC and also had top regulatory and compliance positions at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Like Levey, Werner brings U.S. Department of Treasury experience to his new role as he worked as director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN); director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, (OFAC); senior counsel to the under secretary of the treasury, terrorism and financial intelligence; and assistant general counsel for enforcement and intelligence in the Office of the General Counsel.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to join the Libra Association, as we work to transform the global payments landscape to empower billions of people,” said Werner. “I have dedicated my career to combating financial crime and helping complex organizations achieve regulatory compliance, both in government and in the private sector. I look forward to meaningfully contributing to such an impactful project.”

According to the article, as CEO, Levey will be tasked with developing big-picture strategy due to his expertise combining “technology innovation with a robust compliance and regulatory framework.”

The leadership team comes together as the Libra Association has worked toward appeasing regulators and begun taking steps toward launching operations. In April, the association formally initiated its payment system licensing process with FINMA, Switzerland’s Financial Markets Supervisory Authority. In a recent interview with Rollcall, Diego Zuluaga, the associate director of financial regulation studies at the Cato Institute, noted changes to the way Libra plans on backing its forthcoming digital currencies—using coins backed by specific currencies rather than a melting pot of multiple currencies—will likely be more appealing to both regulators and consumers.

Rounding out the bevy of recent moves from the association, Libra also announced new members Temasek, Slow Ventures and Paradigm. According to Libra, Temasek is an investment company headquartered in Singapore. Slow Ventures has backed tech disruptors like Slack and Airtable, while Paradigm is a crypto investment company based in California.

“The addition of three new members to the Libra Association shows our commitment to building a diverse group of organizations that will contribute to the governance, technological roadmap and launch readiness for the Libra payment systems," said Dante Disparte, vice chairman and head of policy and communications for the Libra Association. “Each of these organizations shares our overall mission alignment bringing unique capabilities and long term focus on market development for blockchain and digital assets.”

Last modified on Friday, 22 May 2020
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