loses Goldman Sachs veteran to Ripple

Crypto wallet provider has lost yet another Wall Street veteran.

Breanne Madigan, a former Goldman Sachs executive, has left for Ripple, communication lead Patrick Sutton confirmed to The Block. Her exit followed that of Jamie Selway, previously global head of institutional markets at the firm.

Upon joining as head of institutional sales and strategy, Madigan was tasked to carry out the firm’s ambition to attract institutional investors. The crypto wallet service’s original plan was to build an institution-oriented platform that integrates over-the-counter trading, custody and exchange business. To this end, also poached Jamie Selway from Wall Street broker ITG a few months after Madigan.

Little news has been heard about the firm’s institutional investment platform since then, although it did launch the OTC desk earlier this year and has an active custody service, Sutton said. 

In comparison, Ripple appears to have a shot at cracking the institutional market. The payments startup reported a 54% quarterly surge in its direct institutional sales of XRP in Q1, totaling $61.93 million.

It is against this backdrop that Madigan shifted her post. Prior to joining, Madigan served as head of institutional wealth services at Goldman Sachs, where she helped oversee a record $1.49 trillion total assets in 2017. Madigan had been with the Wall Street firm for over 13 years before she pivoted to the crypto business, according to her LinkedIn profile. 

As lucrative as institutional investments could be, many crypto firms find it difficult to break into this market. Coinbase has experienced a similar shift from Wall Street to crypto professional traders this year, after encountering pushback from the former, who are still highly cautious about entering into the new asset class. However, with the entrance of big financial service firms like Fidelity, it is likely that other big names will soon follow suit. 

It is not clear what role Madigan will serve at Ripple. As for, its institutional sales team is currently led by yet another Wall Streeter, Charles McGarraugh, formerly at Goldman Sachs as global head of metals trading.

Madigan declined to comment.  

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