James Taylor, one of the leading lights at BNY Mellon, has quit his role at the global bank to take up a new position in crypto. All of Talyor’s business acumen accrued from years on the job will feed into his role with Unizen, where he will assume the newly created post of Chief Business Development Officer.
Unizen’s smart exchange ecosystem combines the best elements of CEX and DEX to provide deeper liquidity and tighter spreads for traders, be they retail or institutional. At a time when institutional investors, in particular, are taking a keen interest in decentralized finance, but often lack means of obtaining exposure, Unizen appears well-positioned to meet the challenge.
From Banking the Banked to Onboarding the Hard-to-Bank
James Taylor’s resumé reads like a who’s who of global investment banking, with stints at BNY Mellon, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital, and Salomon Brothers during a prestigious career spanning more than two decades. His most recent posting, at BNY Mellon, saw Taylor serve as Global Head of Electronic Foreign Exchange sales. This was preceded by eight years at JP Morgan Chase including a role as Head of Fixed Income Currency and Commodity (FICC) Market Structure.
In short, Unizen’s new business lead appears to be quite a catch, and his appointment is not just a coup for the exchange platform: it’s a validation of DeFi at large. While it’s no longer uncommon to see TradFi titans do DeFi in a late career change, Taylor’s transition is more startling than most. On paper, it would seem the business expert had no shortage of options on the table when pondering his next career move. So what attracted him to Unizen exactly?
According to Taylor, it was the quality of Unizen’s team that wooed him ahead of its nonetheless impressive tech: “Without a doubt, the team is top-notch in terms of talent, but what impresses me the most is the moral philosophy I see applied by all.”
He adds: “I’m very excited by our ambition to be the universal and unified gateway through which traditional financial market participants access new digital asset marketplaces.” That’s a ringing endorsement of his new employer, which one would expect admittedly, but it’s also an endorsement of where crypto and DeFi are headed next.
Smart Exchange Gets Smarter
Unizen is billed as a “smart exchange” in that it aggregates tools and services that were traditionally siloed. For years, the crypto exchange landscape has been bifurcated, with certain products and assets only available on CEXs (limit orders, cross-chain swaps, futures) and some only available on DEXs (trustless trading, fee sharing, yield farming). Emerging platforms such as Unizen unite many of these capabilities under one roof, enabling the next generation of traders to access tools that their predecessors had only limited access to.
With James Taylor leading its business development efforts, Unizen’s smart exchange ecosystem just got a little smarter.