Ex-BlackRock Exec Joins Wallet Provider Blockchain as General Counsel

Crypto wallet and data provider Blockchain has picked up a veteran in the traditional finance space. 

Howard Surloff has joined the crypto firm as the first general counsel to join Blockchain’s executive team. Also on the executive team is the company’s president and chief legal officer, Marco Santori. 

Surloff comes with a combined 25 years of executive experience at BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, according to a Blockchain press release. 

While Surloff has spent his entire life in traditional finance, he believes he’s equipped to help blaze a trail in the crypto-regulatory frontier. “The verticals I worked in were essentially startups with each organization,” Surloff told CoinDesk in an email. 

Surloff had held positions like deputy general counsel and global chief operating officer at BlackRock’s ETF arm, iShares. He also served on several of the firm’s key committees and helped navigate BlackRock through 13 acquisitions.

Before BlackRock, he oversaw the legal strategy and structure of more than 1,000 investment products as managing director and general counsel for Goldman Sachs. These included U.S. mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, derivatives and money market funds, among others.

Blockchain serves individuals and institutions and recently launched a crypto exchange with microsecond trading, called The PIT. The company raised more than $70 million from investors like Lightspeed Venture Partners and Google Ventures. Late last year it hired Springleaf Holding’s Macrina Kgil as chief financial officer. 

Surloff said that there is more real-world utility to crypto than being a new investment vehicle:

“Whether it’s a little thing like paying back a friend or transferring money across the world without intermediaries, the applications are massive.”

CEO Peter Smith and General Counsel Howard Surloff image via Blockchain