Leal Named Head of Digital Markets at Monochrome AM
Posted by Colin Lambert. Last updated: September 27, 2021
Former BNY Mellon global head of spot and e-FX Jeff Leal has been named chief operating officer and head of digital markets at Monochrome Asset Management, an Australia-based digital assets investment firm.
Prior to joining BNY in 2017, Leal spent over two years as global head of electronic markets at Unicredit in London. Before this he spent more than 10 years at first Lehman Brothers, where he was a quant analyst in the FX team, and then at Nomura as a large chunk of the Lehman e-FX team transitioned to the Japanese bank. At Nomura, Leal rose to the position of global head of FX e-trading.
“[Jeff] will add valuable insights and leadership with his expertise in foreign exchange and the digital assets industry,” says Jeff Yew, CEO of Monochrome Asset Management. “He not only brings with him years of experience in the e-FX space, but a cutting-edge approach and level of strategic thinking which is exceptionally valuable to Monochrome.”
Leal is the third senior hire by Monochrome, which launched with Monochrome Bitcoin Funds which tracks the performance of the cryptocurrency. Earlier this year the company secured Craig Hobart, former managing director at Nikko Asset Management as Monochrome’s head of distribution in June. In August it followed with the hire of, Derek Henningsen, who joined as head of legal and compliance, coming from IFM Investors. The firm also secured Series A funding of $1.8 million from local and international investors, which values the firm at $20 million.
“Monochrome has demonstrated success launching Australia’s latest wholesale Bitcoin fund, with simplicity in mind and by removing the operational burden for investors,” says Leal. “In my role, I will be helping to further enhance and strengthen Monochrome’s operating environment to support the plans of expansion across products, platforms and for the eventual launch of digital asset ETFs in Australia. My background in institutional execution will also play a role in educating market participants navigating the digital asset liquidity landscape and market microstructure.
“Digital assets have come a long way in recent years and with more traditional institutions joining, the ecosystems we are just at the beginning of a maturing marketplace that provides unimpeded investment opportunities to a wider investor base,” he continues. “I look forward to helping Monochrome become a leading digital asset manager which collaborates with regulators and educates advisers and investors.
“With the wider adoption of digital assets and solutions across the spectrum of investors and market participants, the time is right to make this move and join this innovative company, where we can focus on helping the traditional investment community to understand the incredible opportunities and avoid the complexities which exist in the digital assets sphere,” he concludes.