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Galaxy Digital Appoints Former Goldman Executive Michael Daffey as Chair

Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd., a bitcoin-focused firm offering banking and institutional services, has appointed Michael Daffey to take the position of chairman.

The new chairman will officially resume duty on Sept 1. Knowing fully well what the new role involves, Daffey said, “This is a great, new next chapter for me. I have a lot to learn.”

The chairman’s position was once held by the founder of the company, Michael Novogratz, who will remain as chief executive. Daffey and Novogratz used to work together at Goldman in Asia in the 1990s before the latter left and started working at Fortress Investment Group and later founded Galaxy Digital in 2017.

As of March 31, Daffey worked as an executive at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. He was serving as the chairman of Goldman’s global markets division that generated more than 40% of the firm’s overall revenue in the first quarter. 

He started showing interest in Bitcoin in March last year,  during the surge of the coronavirus pandemic. He revealed that he heard about the topic from his clients on a daily basis and he became interested since it was a reminder of “Wall Street 20 years ago.”

Galaxy Digital is a diversified financial services firm that focuses on digital assets, cryptocurrency, and the blockchain technology industry. Formerly, the company was only into investment management, but later diversified into more financial services, including investment banking and trading. 

A recent development reveals that the company submitted an application with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to launch a bitcoin-focused exchange-traded fund.

Concerning the goals of the firm, the founder said, “We are trying to build a 21st-century customer-focused merchant bank,” so that they can provide services to both commercial clients and high-net-worth investors.

Following in the footsteps of leading U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, which went public on Nasdaq through a direct listing, Galaxy plans to make a public stock offering in the U.S. later this year. Its shares are already listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. 

“There’s a dearth of good and public equities in the crypto space,” Novogratz said. “I think you’ll see other companies try to fill out that portfolio.”

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