We are beyond thrilled to welcome Nick D’Angelo to the advisory team, who adds more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, Nick worked at Wells Fargo and served as the COO/Chief of Staff for multiple divisions including Structured Credit Products, Asset Backed Finance Sales and Trading, Market/Counterparty/Liquidity Risk, and Regulatory Relations. Nick was responsible for developing and implementing divisional strategic plans, managing department project portfolios, building and re-engineering risk management programs, optimizing organizational development activities, interfacing with regulators, and resolving numerous complex regulatory issues. Nick graduated Summa Cum Laude from Virginia Tech with both a B.S. in Finance and B.S. in Management.
We recently sat down with the newest member of the team to learn more:
What piqued your interest in the blockchain space during your time at Wells Fargo?
My interest in crypto and blockchain developed outside of Wells Fargo. I find it fascinating to contemplate the opportunities for increased efficiency and effectiveness that this technology can bring to the financial services industry and its customers. Increasing transparency, risk management, and execution speed while decreasing costs are the hallmarks of significant improvements in this industry. This is an exciting time for providers and customers in this space!
How will your experience at Wells Fargo translate into benefits for unFederalReserve?
With unFederalReserve’s mission and product offerings, my background and experience can be very valuable to the team and platform as the business continues to grow and looks to attract participation, especially from financial institutions.
With 20+ years in financial services, my experience as a senior leader working across several key disciplines (such as Business, Technology, Risk Management, and Regulatory Relations) provides key insight into how financial institutions evaluate and implement new products, services, and technologies. I bring deep experience and expertise in implementing new technology platforms across large divisions and the enterprise and have focused on optimizing processes and controls to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
What would you consider to be the greatest impediments to widespread adoption of blockchain technology within financial institutions?
That is a great question! The answers depend a lot on the specific financial institution, but in general I would say:
- Education is important as a significant number of people are not well educated on blockchain. This is a serious impediment to adoption as leaders do not understand and cannot explain how it works, the risks and mitigants, as well as the benefits. The industry is still learning how to come up the learning curve. Some do this by adopting very small instances/use cases to use as test beds, providing first-hand experience, knowledge, and specific outcomes that can be discussed amongst senior leaders, businesses, technology, risk management, and internal audit.
- There is risk with technology and platforms that cannot be directly managed/owned by some financial institutions. This typically increases time to market as significant due diligence must be performed by financial institutions prior to utilizing third-party platforms/software/services.
- Similarly, some technologies increase efficiency and effectiveness so well that it reduces the need for certain people, teams and processes. This can cause banks to reduce their workforce which can take significant time to implement and carries HR costs and risks. This can, unfortunately, slow adoption significantly.
Finally, what is the unique value proposition of unFederalReserve that you think will help address these impediments?
unFederalReserve is focused on providing banks and non-bank lenders an efficient and effective way to better manage liquidity in a framework that is very appealing to these institutions and their customers. First, the product is beneficial whether one has excess liquidity or requires liquidity. Second, the unFederalReserve team understands this sector well and has developed the platform in a sound regulatory framework that delivers strong risk management capabilities to help satisfy necessary requirements of these client institutions. Third, unFederalReserve leadership have assembled an amazing team with significant experience in both the DeFi and traditional financial services space to help educate, develop, implement, and manage solutions that are impactful, efficient, and effective for the industry and the clients they serve.