Lots of people have left Credit Suisse's Zurich office to work in crypto

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Leaving banking for crypto

Who knew? Credit Suisse's Zurich office has long been a hotbed for emigres from banking to the cryptocurrency sector. So say insiders there, who point to multiple moves from the Swiss bank to the crypto sector over the past year.

The latest CS crypto mover is Andrew Peel. As we were first to report earlier this week, Peel has left Credit Suisse to become head of digital asset markets at Morgan Stanley, based out of Zurich. He's not the only one. It transpires that at least eleven other people at Credit Suisse's Zurich office have also succumbed to the lure of the crypto world in the past year. Peel was merely the latest to go with that flow.

The other exits include Simon Tobler, a former FX options trader at Credit Suisse in Zurich who left the bank after 11 years last August to become head of trading for Crypto Finance AG, a Swiss company that aims to implement blockchain technology. Tobler was later joined by Adrian Gut, Credit Suisse's former head of FX agency prime broking, and then by Pirro Morandi, who was formerly in fixed income and high yield sales at CS. Morandi joined in April 2018. Gut joined last October.

Another August 2017 departure was that of Marcus Abele, Credit Suisse's former head of digital private banking. Abele left CS and set up a blockchain consultancy and investment firm. Christian Schuepbach, a VP in derivatives trading and platform digitalization, left the Swiss bank in July 2017 and set up vision&, which describes itself as, 'a Swiss based, SRO-regulated asset manager facilitating the access to innovative blockchain investment opportunities.' He was later joined by co-founder and ex-Credit Suisse derivatives salesman Jan Roth, who left the bank in May 2018 and arrived at Vision& in June. The two have since launched the first actively managed blockchain investment product in Switzerland.

The other crypto exits include Cameron Fletcher, a software developer who left Credit Suisse in January 2018 to work for Lykke, a crypto exchange in Zug. Fletcher was joined by two other ex-CS developers: Rachal Huber and Marta Ciesielska. Then there's Georg Schneider, a Credit Suisse, who VP left around the same time and is now a quant analyst at blockchain company Digital Asset, and Thomas Weber, a former credit Suisse quant, who is understood to have left CS to join Schneider Digital Asset last week....

What makes Credit Suisse such a hotbed for crypto talent? Insiders say it's down to the fact that everyone knows each other in the Zurich market. "We all worked together on the trading floor," says one of those who left. "The community in Switzerland (and globally) was very compact a couple years ago. Our small blockchain cell of people entered the space rather early and shared knowledge."

He says it helps too that crypto is seen as offering opportunities to people who want to work entrepreneurially and that the community of CS crypto alumni are still in touch: "We found different ways to enter the crypto business but still keep close and exchange thoughts."

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