From Fannie Mae to Coinbase: Brian Brooks takes on CLO role

He replaces Mike Lempres, who led the company’s legal function “through an important chapter of its history”. Lempres will now focus on scaling the company’s government affairs programme, which includes Coinbase as a founding member of the Blockchain Association and managing the Coinbase Political Action Committee

Cryptocurrency exchange and wallet venture, Coinbase, has hired former Fannie Mae General Counsel Brian Brooks as its new Chief Legal Officer.

“From the time it was founded seven years ago, Coinbase has been a leading advocate for the adoption of cryptocurrency. We’ve engaged proactively with regulators as we built products and services that allow people to buy, sell and use cryptocurrency all over the world,” says Brian Armstrong, Co-Founder and CEO of Coinbase.

“In recent years, the industry expanded faster than we could have imagined with an explosion in customer demand and entrepreneurial activity pushing the capabilities of the ecosystem forward. As this trend continues, it is more important than ever that we contribute to a public policy and regulatory environment that fosters innovation while protecting investors.”

The arrival of Brooks, he adds, is part of the venture’s effort to expand its legal, compliance and government affairs capabilities as it heads into the next chapter for the company and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

Old school, new school

Brooks served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Fannie Mae. Prior to that, he led the legal department at OneWest Bank. He joined OneWest in 2011 from O’Melveny & Myers, where he served as Managing Partner of the firm’s 150-lawyer Washington, D.C. office, chair of the firm’s 40-lawyer national Financial Services Practice Group, and a member of the firm’s three-partner executive committee.

Michael Li

Earlier this week, Coinbase announced the appointment of Michael Li as VP of Data.

He made the leap from LinkedIn, where he started out as Director, Business Analytics in 2011, before taking on the role of Head of Analytics & Data Science.

In a Medium post, Li expressed his excitement at being able to contribute to Coinbase’s mission to “create an open financial system for the world.” He added that blockchain technologies are being rapidly created and adopted, and Coinbase is driving this evolution. “I’m excited by the opportunity to combine my passion about data and the endless possibilities of data innovations in the cryptocurrency and blockchain world.”

Data will be essential to empowering the venture’s mission, he noted, and core to its strategy to deliver the most trusted and easiest-to-use cryptocurrency products and services.

“We will be both leveraging existing technologies like machine learning and AI, as well as creating data innovations for emerging blockchain use cases to keep up with the ever-changing industry landscape. I look forward to advancing the company’s leadership position in the crypto industry through the power of data and will share key learnings along the way,” he concluded.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.

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