BlockFi Hires Credit Suisse, Prudential Execs to Drive Global Expansion

Crypto lender BlockFi has hired two execs from traditional finance to help launch a bitcoin rewards card and build out business teams in Europe and Asia.

AccessTimeIconMay 5, 2020 at 3:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:36 a.m. UTC
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Crypto lender BlockFi is adding two traditional finance executives to help the firm roll out new products and expand into new markets. 

Former American Express executive Wittney Rachlin will join as chief growth officer and former Credit Suisse executive David Olsson as global managing director of the European and Asian markets. 

Rachlin comes with 20 years of financial services experience. She most recently served in leadership roles at Prudential Financial and American Express. In addition to overseeing business and product development at the firm, Rachlin will lead the development of BlockFi’s bitcoin rewards card, which will launch later this year.

In an interview with CoinDesk, Rachlin said she’ll target customers who prefer cash rewards over airline miles to convince them that bitcoin is a good rewards asset. 

“You need to convince people of why it’s interesting and applicable to them,” Rachlin said. 

Olsson also brings 20 years of experience in financial services. He’s managed teams at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (now BofA Securities) and Credit Suisse, covering prime brokerage and equity derivatives. 

Olsson will build BlockFi’s first business teams outside the U.S. (although the company already has technical and engineering teams in Europe and Asia). These teams will be made up of sales, trading and credit-risk professionals who will court new institutional customers. Olsson will start first in London and then create a team in either Hong Kong or Singapore. 

The company’s continued expansion comes while it’s still flush with capital from a $30 million Series B in February and as it raised interest rates on deposits after earning more revenue from loans.

“BlockFi as a firm has decided not to participate in a recession,” Olsson told CoinDesk. “We feel like we’ve come out of the March gyrations in cryptocurrency stronger, we have a strong balance sheet, and zero losses since the business’s inception.”


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