UBS names new head of blockchain

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Peter Stephens, who previously worked in the Swiss lender’s chief technology office in Hong Kong, will assume his new role on November 1, relocating to London and reporting to Veronica Lange, head of innovation.

In a memo to staff, Lange said: “Peter has been instrumental in driving blockchain and fintech initiatives out of Hong Kong and is well-versed in UBS blockchain strategy and development work.

“This appointment will ensure consistency of our blockchain strategy and a smooth transition in the approach of the next phase of our blockchain based business development activity.”

Blockchain is a distributed ledger that started out supporting digital currencies like bitcoin but which industry leaders increasingly believe has value as a means of storing monetary transactions, contracts and securities in a faster and more secure way.

At UBS, Batlin had established himself as a figurehead in the world of blockchain. He was a driving force behind the creation of UBS’s innovation lab in Canary Wharf-based accelerator Level39 in 2015.

FN reported in August that Batlin was moving to the cutsody giant BNY Mellon.

The lab, where Stephens will be based, helps the bank engage with the UK capital’s growing community of fintech startups to test and develop financial applications that use new technologies, such as blockchain.

According to UBS, Stephens has an extensive background in consultancy and engineering.

• This article also appeared on WSJ City, a made-for-mobile app that combines the best of the Wall Street Journal and Financial News, tailored for an audience in the City of London. Download here

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