Crypto Firm Circle Nabs PayPal, Novi Veteran to Lead Compliance

Circle Internet Financial, the global financial technology firm that’s a principal developer of the USD Coin stablecoin, is continuing its C-suite hiring spree with the appointment of Mandeep Walia as chief compliance and risk officer.

Walia was most recently the chief compliance officer for Facebook Financial’s Novi. Prior to that he held senior leadership roles in global financial institutions such as PayPal Inc. His role will involve helping to enhance Circle’s commitment to financial crime compliance, anti-money laundering, countering the financing of terrorism and other financial integrity activities, according to a statement from the company.

“Compliance is extraordinarily important” as the company works to invest in and scale operations, licensing and future products and services, said Circle founder Jeremy Allaire, in an interview. “The quality, the depth, the scale of what institutions like Circle bring to the table is critical.”

Compliance has risen quickly to the top of crypto firms’ agendas as digital-asset prices rise and the space matures, which has also helped attract interest from regulators. The holding group behind BitMex appointed Alexander Hoptner, known for his more mainstream approach, as chief executive officer late last year. Binance Holdings Ltd. in March hired former U.S. Senator Max Baucus as an adviser; its U.S. affiliate last month appointed former top regulator Brian Brooks as CEO.

Walia’s appointment follows the announcement of other key executives at Circle, including Jeremy Fox-Geen as incoming chief financial officer and Dante Disparte as chief strategy officer and head of global policy.

“I see a massive opportunity for a company like Circle,” Walia said in an interview. “We talk about financial inclusion, innovation -- there’s so much that can be done to improve the financial system. And risk management and compliance are not at odds with what we’re trying to achieve.”

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