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State Street Launches Digital Asset Unit

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What You Need to Know

  • State Street Digital builds on the firm’s current digital capabilities and will include cryptocurrency, blockchain and tokenization.
  • The firm's proprietary GlobalLink technology platform will be enhanced to support crypto assets.
  • Nadine Chakar, an executive vice president, will head State Street Digital.

State Street has launched a new division for digital finance that will be led by Nadine Chakar, an executive vice president who has over three decades of experience working in global wealth and asset management.

“The financial industry is transforming to a digital economy, and we see digital assets as one of the most significant forces impacting our industry over the next five years,” said Ron O’Hanley, chairman and chief executive officer of State Street Corp., in a statement. “It is critical we have the tools in place to provide our clients with solutions for both their traditional investment needs as well as their increased digital needs.”

State Street Digital will build on the firm’s current digital capabilities and expand to include cryptocurrency, central bank digital currency, blockchain and tokenization. It will incorporate the firm’s proprietary GlobalLink technology platform that will be enhanced into a digital multi-asset platform to support crypto assets as well as other asset classes. The aim is “to support our peer-to-peer ambitions by creating new liquidity venues for our clients and investors worldwide,” according to the State Street press release.

Chakar said that the firm has already “been developing a number of digital capabilities and other solutions” and partnering and investing in the infrastructure on which the foundation of State Street Digital is built.

“As digital currencies and tokenization not only gain momentum, but transform financial infrastructure and operating models, we can help our clients bridge the gap between the industry of today and the one of tomorrow.”

State Street has already made inroads into the digital asset market. In March it was appointed the fund administrator and transfer agent of the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, whose application is pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission, and it is the administrator of a Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded note (ETN) issued by Iconic Funds BTC ETN GmbH, a subsidiary of Iconic Funds GmbH, which started trading on Germany’s Deutsche Börse’s Xetra in mid-May.

State Street joins other asset managers who have made a commitment to digital assets including Fidelity, which launched its Digital Assets platform in 2018 to provide custody and execution services for institutional investors, a Bitcoin index fund for qualified investors last summer and a digital assets data and analytics platform for institutional investors in April of this year. A Fidelity Bitcoin ETF is pending before the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Morgan Stanley also has a Bitcoin fund for wealthy investors, and BNY has launched a digital assets unit and is the designated transfer agent or administrator for several Bitcoin ETF applications pending before the SEC.

State Street also announced Thursday that Tony Bisegna, global head of portfolio solutions, FX sales and trading, and research for State Street Global Markets, will become head of Global Markets effective Sept. 1, 2021 as “part of the firm’s ongoing succession planning.” Chakar has been serving as head of State Street Global Markets.