Binance hires DFSA exec, IMF advisor Mark McGinness

abdelaziz Fathi

Binance said on Thursday it had appointed a former DFSA executive as its chief regulatory liaison, part of an attempt by the world’s largest crypto exchange to undo regulatory red flags and reinvent itself as a regulated financial firm.

Mark McGinness, former head of international relations at the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), joins Binance in the newly-created role after 16 years with the UAE prominent watchdog. He brings over three decades of experience as a financial services supervisor.

During his long stint at the DFSA, McGinness played key roles to establish international links and recognition for the financial center, drafting and negotiating MoUs and FinTech agreements. He was instrumental in creating a global network of over 85 regulators and settled 100 Memoranda of Understanding for the DFSA, per his linkedin profile.

Mark also held the position of the DFSA’s chief decision maker, deciding on matters of alleged misconduct referred by its enforcement division.

Other stops include working was head of international relations and advisor to the Australian regulator’s chair. Mark has also held advisory positions with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

“Mark is one of the most respected regulators and compliance experts in the industry. He brings with him over 30 years of invaluable experience working alongside key stakeholders in the financial services industry. Mark joining our leadership is not only a huge step forward for Binance, but the industry as a whole, as we work to grow the industry responsibly with the support of regulators and policymakers across the globe, said Binance CEO ‘CZ’ Changpeng Zhao.

“The rapid mainstream adoption of blockchain and crypto technology signals a need for a deeper understanding and appreciation among governments, regulatory bodies and users alike. I aim to bridge this divide through working closely with industry leaders and policymakers to not only set best practices and regulatory frameworks, but also broaden their understanding of this dynamic industry,” added Mark McGinness.

Binance has been on a recent hiring spree, having expanded its regulatory compliance staff and advisory board by 500% since 2020. The new hires included former US Treasury criminal investigator Greg Monahan as its money laundering reporting officer and ex-senator Max Baucus as policy and government relations adviser.

The exchange giant also added compliance veteran Jonathan Farnell alongside two former executives of the intergovernmental organisation Financial Action Task Force.

CZ even raised the prospect of stepping down and confirmed that Binance was on the lookout for global executives with a strong regulatory background to help them pivot towards becoming a regulated financial institution.

In Asia, Binance hired Richard Teng, the former chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX), to lead its Singapore operations. He joined the firm as the CEO of Binance Singapore, which operates under the domain Binance.sg, as part of its effort to court global regulatory bodies.

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