Morgan Stanley Vets Can't Resist Crypto Startups, Despite Crash

(Bloomberg) -- Harish Gupta started his career at Morgan Stanley as an intern four years ago. Now he has one of the bank’s former stars and another veteran on the advisory board of his crypto startup, Polybird.

Raj Dhanda, who runs real-estate investment firm Black Creek Group, spent more than two decades at Morgan Stanley and left in 2016 after leading capital markets. He was named a Polybird adviser in a statement on Wednesday. His former colleague Patrick Springer is also on the board of advisers.

“The idea is to be a global token exchange,” Gupta, who started Polybird last year and is chief executive officer, said in an interview. “We are a platform or marketplace like Amazon that puts buyers, investors and traders together. Our aim is to be the middle layer.”

Even as Bitcoin prices have crashed, longtime Wall Street executives keep jumping to smaller startups and joining boards. The lure of blockchain technology seems irresistible to people who think it can have what Dhanda called “a profound impact on global capital markets.”

Morgan Stanley veterans aren’t immune. Zoe Cruz, a former executive, is on the board of Ripple. The bank’s former CEO, John Mack, took an interest in Omega One.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.