Celsius Network, the leading cryptocurrency lending and borrowing platform, announced that it has appointed Aslihan Denizkurdu as Chief Operating Officer and Frank van Etten as Chief Investment Officer. In her role, Denizkurdu will be responsible for positioning Celsius as a trusted and reliable service provider to its clients while continuously strengthening Celsius’ infrastructure as well as governance and management practices. Van Etten will oversee Celsius’ investment teams and activities. In this role, he is responsible for generating returns on the crypto-assets at Celsius’ platform and position the business for sustainable growth. They will both report to Celsius’ Chief Executive Officer Alex Mashinsky.
“We are seeing a migration of talent from traditional finance to decentralized finance and crypto companies,” said Alex Mashinsky, CEO of Celsius. “As we prepare for the next chapter of our growth, I am excited to see this top tier talent join our team with the exemplary leadership and wealth of experience that Denizkurdu and van Etten bring from Citigroup and UBS, respectively.”
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“I am honored to be joining Celsius, a pioneer of innovation, as the financial services industry gets rapidly redefined” said Denizkurdu regarding her new role. “My goal is to position Celsius as an industry leader in decentralized finance with a best-in-class, scalable infrastructure that will also meet regulatory expectations globally as they are established. Bringing in practices from traditional finance and applying them with the innovative mindset and approaches of fintech will be a part of this journey.”
Denizkurdu joins Celsius from Citigroup, where she was the Chief Operating Officer and Head of Governance for Risk Management, reporting to the Chief Risk Officer and serving as a long-standing member of the Global Risk Management Executive Council. In this role, Denizkurdu focused on implementation of firm-wide frameworks and processes that enabled effective identification and management of risks while making the company a better and more competitive firm for its clients. She also held roles in Corporate Strategy and Country Risk groups. Prior to Citi, Denizkurdu was a Senior Buy-Side Research Analyst at AllianceBernstein where she invested in Financial Institutions. In this role, she also advised the U.S. Treasury Department on the management of the ~$430bn TARP program.
Denizkurdu graduated Magna Cum Laude from NYU’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business with a B.S. in Finance and International Business. In 2020, she was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and has been a fellow in Aspen Institute’s First Movers Fellowship program since 2012.
“It’s a privilege to be part of the Celsius journey and to be in a position to drive future success”, said van Etten after his first few months in his role. “The crypto-markets are providing great investment opportunities where I can leverage my experience of innovation paired with disciplined execution to create value for our customers, business partners and company. We are combining deep crypto expertise with seasoned leadership from traditional markets with the goal to redefine the financial services landscape permanently and for the better.”
Before joining Celsius, van Etten was in asset management for two decades in global leadership roles at ING, Voya, UBS and Nuveen. He has broad investment experience and was responsible for over $200 billion in client assets in previous CIO roles. Furthermore, van Etten has an operations background and worked in various advisory roles, focusing on efficiency programs at large global financial institutions. Van Etten operated at the most senior leadership levels, with rich experience in developing growth strategies and designing the operations to support the growth. He led the execution of various large scale strategic projects that helped positioning businesses for future success. He is a recognized expert in investments innovation, business restructuring and realizing sustainable business growth in various client channels.
van Etten was born in Italy, raised in the Netherlands and holds a Master’s Degree in Econometrics and Operations Research from Tilburg University.
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