November 30, 2023

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DCG-owed crypto trade Luno replaces CEO, seeks exterior investment decision

LONDON — The CEO of cryptocurrency trade Luno is stepping aside and handing the reins to its head of functions, the organization announced Wednesday.

It arrives as Luno’s mum or dad enterprise, crypto-focused enterprise cash firm Digital Currency Group, carries on to reel from turmoil in the crypto market. Luno also lately laid off 35% of its worldwide workforce.

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Marcus Swanepoel, a South African former banker who launched Luno in 2013 with the aim of bringing crypto to the masses, will give up his CEO title just after 10 years to turn into govt chairman, the enterprise claimed in a push release Wednesday.

James Lanigan, Luno’s chief operating officer, will choose about the reins as Luno’s new CEO. Lanigan joined Luno in 2018 and formerly served as chief internet marketing officer for the cafe reservation platform TheFork, formerly Bookatable.

As government chairman, Swanepoel will commit less time in the day-to-working day working of Luno, as an alternative doing the job with Lanigan and management to guideline tactic and concentrate on broadening Luno’s trader base, the company explained.

In a statement, Swanepoel explained he was “psyched for our next chapter as we go on to set the electricity of crypto in everyone’s arms.”

“The prospect for crypto is greater and brighter than ever, and James is a seasoned operator and an superb leader with a track history of good results across all areas of operating a actually world wide fintech business.”

Luno claimed it has also employed investment banking business Canaccord Genuity Group to support it elevate new investment decision from exterior investors. It marks the to start with time the corporation is opening up to new traders given that becoming obtained by DCG in 2020.

Luno will goal to increase funds from buyers other than DCG to enable it increase internationally, attain industry share, and get ready for an eventual listing, Luno said in the press release.

DCG, Luno’s dad or mum organization, has been grappling with the ongoing fallout from very last year’s plunge in token price ranges and the collapse of FTX, the controversial trade whose failure in November sparked a series of bankruptcies in the market.

In just DCG’s sprawling portfolio of crypto holdings, electronic currency lender Genesis submitted for personal bankruptcy protection owing creditors at least $3 billion, when Grayscale, the premier crypto asset management firm, faces queries about its exposure to FTX and the widening discounted its bitcoin expenditure have confidence in trades at relative to the underlying asset. 

CoinDesk, the DCG-owned crypto news outlet, employed financial commitment financial institution Lazard to examine a probable sale, CNBC previously described.

A DCG spokesperson insisted Swanepoel’s occupation transfer was unrelated to the troubles faced by Luno’s mum or dad firm and experienced been in the functions for 12 months. Transitioning from CEO to government chairman is a “typical path for founder CEOs,” the spokesperson extra. 

“Getting first invested in Luno’s seed round in 2014 adopted by an acquisition in 2020, we want to thank Marcus for his dynamic management and enduring enthusiasm for the worldwide crypto landscape as he transformed Luno into a electronic asset powerhouse,” Barry Silbert, DCG’s founder and CEO, stated in a assertion Wednesday.

Swanepoel’s selection to step down as CEO caps off a litany of lousy news encompassing Luno. The London-based mostly business, which has offices in Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe, laid off 35% of its workforce in January, citing market place turbulence. The corporation also dropped its co-founder and chief technologies officer, Timothy Stranex, in December.

Despite the ache the marketplace has endured, digital currencies have shown indicators of a restoration this 12 months. Bitcoin is up 70% considering the fact that the start off of the 12 months and is at present investing above $28,000 for the to start with time in nine months. Ether, the second-major token, has risen 50% 12 months-to-date and is now worth $1,800 apiece.

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