Longtime technology specialist Ed Budd has joined UK-based blockchain firm ConsenSys to help kickstart its development and launch. The new role at the startup group represents a notable change from his tenure at Deutsche Bank, which saw him working for nearly two decades in senior technology roles.
Mr. Budd worked previously as Deutsche Bank’s Chief Digital Officer and Managing Director, part of a lengthy career with the lender extending back to 1998. During this period, he helped launch a wide range of innovative tech projects and other initiatives – his skill set will be instrumental in assisting with ConsenSys’s launch and future development.
ConsenSys, or Consensus Systems, is a blockchain software technology company founded by Joseph Lubin. The group is a venture production studio, constructing decentralized applications and various developer and end-user tools for blockchain use.
Mr. Budd will be leaned on extensively to support the launch of the group’s new UK office. Presently, ConsenSys boasts around 450 employees globally, including offices in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Dubai, Singapore, and Brisbane.
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Budd joins a growing list of twelve former bankers that have already been recruited by ConsenSys. This includes Nelson Pimenta, the group’s lead product designer, joined from JP Morgan, while its Project Manager Joshua Cassidy joined from Credit Suisse – ConsenSys’s Chief of Staff Jeremy Millar worked formerly as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.
Mr. Budd recently parted ways with Deutsche Bank back in September, having worked the entirety of his career at the German lender. His tenure focused on leading the development of new digital products at the bank as well as undertaking lead efforts to pursue innovative technology for the bank. This included oversight of Deutsche Bank’s efforts with distributed ledger technology (DLT) and its interaction with fintech firms.
The move is the latest example of leading personnel in the banking space moving out of the sector into fintech or blockchain startups. On the whole, the banking space has had trouble holding onto top-tier talent, with a premium being paid for experts in technology or other disruptive innovations, including blockchain.
This has not stopped banks from pursuing their own blockchain research and capabilities however, which have largely towed a more digitized approach in recent years in a bid to update legacy systems. Moving forward, Mr. Budd is unlikely to be the last big-name specialist to part ways with the banking sector, especially as new startups gain traction in London.