Digital Assets
London Stock Exchange appoints group head of digital assets
 Jun 20, 2022
Last week Peter Golder announced that he’d joined the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) as Head of Group Digital Assets, a newly created position. Golder was Chief Commercial Officer at the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) for the last two years. SDX was the first major stock exchange to launch a digital assets platform supporting securities.

Golder started a week ago and reports to Murray Roos, Group Head of Capital Markets and Daniel Maguire, Group Head of Post Trade. A spokesperson for LSEG said that it was too early to elaborate on the LSEG’s digital asset plans.

Beyond cryptocurrencies, security tokens representing stocks, bonds, funds and other assets are viewed as an important frontier for blockchain. Automation can radically reduce the costs of securities issuance and administration. That means bonds and other asset classes can be traded in smaller denominations lowering the barriers to entry for investors and increasing the pool of investors.

The LSEG’s move to set up a digital assets group should be viewed in the context of the UK’s plans for a financial market infrastructure (FMI) sandbox, allowing institutions to experiment with blockchain. Specifically, certain aspects of current regulations are waved in contrast to the UK’s FCA sandbox framework. One area that the sandbox will explore is setting aside the need for a third-party central security depository (CSD). The EU also recently passed legislation for a similar initiative allowing the same institution to manage the trading exchange and operate the post trade aspects because, for digital assets, both aspects ideally happen on the blockchain.

LSEG’s background in digital assets is threefold:

LSEG is developing a solution for UK equities post trade.
It has an investment in Nivaura which provides technology for digital securities workflows.
It acquired TORA, which enables crypto trading.
In February, the group spent $325 million acquiring TORA, the trading technology firm that also has a digital assets solution that links to almost 30 cryptocurrency exchanges. But don’t expect crypto to be a major plank of LSEG’s strategy.

Unsurprisingly the majority of its work has focused on securities. LSEG is a major investor in Nivaura, which has a digital workflow solution for the issuance and management of securities. While it’s not a blockchain company, Nivaura’s platform is ideal for launching digital assets. In February, the Nivaura solution was used to issue a debt instrument onto the Ethereum public blockchain, which was settled using the Fnality payment system, a platform supported by 15 major banks and Nasdaq. Natwest and Santander participated in the trial.

Notably, Golder has been on Nivaura’s board of advisers since the start of the year.


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