Libra Association Names HSBC Chief Legal Officer as First CEO

The Libra Association has named HSBC Chief Legal Officer Stuart Levey as its first chief executive.

The group announced Wednesday that Levey would be joining “later this summer,” and will be overseeing the project’s work to “combine technology innovation with a robust compliance and regulatory framework.” He has been at HSBC since 2012.

Levey has previously served the U.S. government as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence under the presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and had a background in illicit finance.

He also oversaw sanctions law enforcement through the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control and anti-money laundering regulations through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), according to a press release.

“I am honored to join the Libra Association as it charts a bold path forward to harness the power of technology to transform the global payments landscape,” Levey said in a statement. “Technology provides us with the opportunity to make it easier for individuals and businesses to send and receive money, and to empower more than a billion people who have been left on the sidelines of the financial system, all with robust controls to detect and deter illicit financial activity.”

Levey added that he looks forward to working with governments and regulators in building out Libra.

Libra has made a number of public moves recently, announcing new members including global nonprofit Heifer International and ecommerce site The group, unveiled by Facebook last June, has also begun the process to receive a payments license through the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

The group did not announce a revised launch date for the Libra stablecoins, which were originally set to go live within the first half of 2020. Libra revamped its original vision last month, scaling back the global stablecoin ambition and instead now plans to launch a series of fiat-backed stablecoins.

In a statement, Libra Association board member and Andreessen Horowitz partner Katie Haun said, “Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in both the government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence, and the private sector where he managed teams spread across the globe.”

“This unique experience allows him to bring a wealth of knowledge in banking, finance, regulatory policy and national security to the Association and strike the right balance between innovation and regulation,” she said.

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