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Aussie branch of bank-backed custodian appoints NAB exec as CEO

Yasmine Masi19 March 2024
New appointment

The Australian arm of the Standard Chartered, SBI Holdings and Northern Trust-backed custodian, Zodia Custody, has appointed NAB digital assets executive, Kate Cooper, as its Chief Executive Officer.

Appointed on secondment from NAB, Cooper has spearheaded the bank’s digital assets team for the last two years and also led its collaboration with Zodia Custody to develop a platform that provides safe, secure and regulation-compliant digital asset custody services for financial institutions and other businesses.

In her new role, Cooper will be take the lead on the firm’s strategic development and growth in Australia and across the APAC region, working across its governance and compliance function as well as product development. This will involve further developing the SAF3 platform, with a risk management service and a fraud and scam detection solution on the cards.

“Zodia Custody Australia is the next level up — for me, for institutions, and for the digital asset ecosystem,” Kate Cooper, CEO at Zodia Custody Australia, said.

“Having worked with the Zodia Custody Australia team while at NAB to develop SAF3, it is evident that this is where the future evolution of digital assets lie; custody is the pathway to a mature and mainstream institutional ecosystem. We are already changing the game in Australia, and I look forward to working with the team to keep pushing the boundaries forward both at home in Australia, and across APAC.”

This is Zodia Custody Australia’s third senior appointment since its launch in October last year, after Drew Bradford and David Ball joined as Non-Executive Chairman and Head of Business Development, respectively, one month later.

Julian Sawyer, CEO at Zodia Custody, said Cooper’s appointment comes as the company awaits the implementation of new cryptocurrency and digital asset platform regulations, and the outcome of its Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) application.

“Kate joining us is a true endorsement of our vision locally and globally. Kate is more than an asset to the ecosystem, she is an architect of its future,” he said.

“Kate’s experience perfectly complements our own journey — a banking heritage combined with innovation in digital assets — making her the perfect fit to lead our Australian business into the future.

“The quality and credibility of our top team in Australia reinforces our high calibre credentials. This is a team dedicated to working side-by-side with local institutions on a journey of innovation.”

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