Finance

Ex-Chancellor Philip Hammond joins crypto startup Copper


F

ormer UK chancellor Philip Hammond has signed on as an advisor to a British cryptocurrency startup.

Copper, which builds cryptocurrency trading tools for institutional investors, said Lord Hammond of Runnymead had joined as a senior advisor to the company. He will provide strategic advice centered around Copper’s global expansion. Copper, founded in 2018, recently opened an office in the US and hopes to expand to Asia.

Lord Hammond called the company a “true pioneer” and said there was an “exciting opportunity” to adapt the technology to mainstream financial services.

“If we can bring together the best of Britain – entrepreneurs, industry, government, and regulators – to create and enable a blockchain-based ecosystem for financial services, we will secure the UK’s global leadership in this field for decades ahead,” Hammond said in a statement.

Dmitry Tokarev, Copper’s CEO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Lord Hammond to the Copper team. Over the last 18 months, Copper has grown exponentially, now serving over 400 institutional clients.

“We would like to drive growth in our client base within a regulatory framework which will allow us to thrive globally from our London headquarters.  With Lord Hammond’s expertise adding to the strength of our team, we look forward to growing Copper and further enhancing the UK’s digital asset technology offering.”

Copper helps investment firms to deal with cryptocurrencies by offering services like prime brokerage, custody and settlement. The startup raised $75 million from investors in June, including backing from hedge fund manager Alan Howard.

Financial terms of Hammond’s engagement with Copper weren’t disclosed.

Lord Hammond left politics in 2019 but was made a life peer a year later. His position at Copper sits alongside another engagement advising startup fintech bank OakNorth. Hammond’s work for OakNorth was investigated by the UK lobbying regulator earlier this year after suggestion he was lobbying on behalf of OakNorth without being properly registered. He was cleared of wrongdoing.

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