Binance.US Taps Lesley O’Neill as its New Chief Compliance Officer

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Binance.US Taps Lesley O’Neill as its New Chief Compliance Officer
Source: AdobeStock / piter2121

Binance.US, the American subsidiary of global cryptocurrency behemoth Binance, has announced the appointment of Lesley O’Neill as its new Chief Compliance Officer. 

According to a recent announcement, O’Neill brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously worked at digital identity fintech Prove Identity for five years, where she served as Chief Compliance Officer for two years. 

Prior to her tenure at Prove, she also had experience in the traditional finance sector.

As the Chief Compliance Officer at Binance.US, O’Neill will be responsible for overseeing the firm’s know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML), and sanctions programs. 

She takes over from Tammy Weinrib, who left the company in November after nearly two years. 

Interim CEO Norman Reed expressed his confidence in O’Neill, highlighting her expertise in fraud and identity, and her successful track record in developing and managing compliance and legal functions.

“It is incredibly exciting to join Binance.US at this important time for the company and digital asset industry,” O’Neill said in a comment. 

“I look forward to earning and maintaining the trust of our customers and regulators by building upon the company’s strong foundation of compliance and deepening its commitment to accountability and transparency.”

Binance’s Regulatory Issues

Binance.US and its global parent company, Binance, have faced regulatory scrutiny in recent months.

In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated an enforcement action against them, alleging the sale of unregistered securities. 

The SEC lawsuit named Binance founder Changpeng Zhao as one of the defendants, accusing him of controlling Binance.US despite claiming it operated independently. 

In November, Zhao stepped down as CEO and pleaded guilty to an anti-money laundering violation, agreeing to pay a $50 million fine. 

Binance, as a company, also settled with the Justice Department, the Treasury Department, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Office of Foreign Assets Control, paying a hefty $4.3 billion in penalties.

Amidst these regulatory challenges, Binance.US has experienced executive departures. 

Former CEO Brian Shroder left the crypto exchange in September, coinciding with a reduction in staff. 

Interim CEO Norman Reed, a former regulator with the SEC and the former Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel of Binance.US, has been leading the company since then. 

Additionally, the firm’s Chief Risk Officer, Sidney Majalya, and Head of Legal, Krishna Juvvadi, also departed in November.

Binance Expected to Maintain Dominance

Binance is expected to maintain its position as the dominant global exchange, even after reaching a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). 

According to a research report by broker Bernstein, Binance experienced minor outflows of less than $1 billion following the news of the settlement, but there was no significant panic among customers. 

Analysts at Bernstein, led by Gautam Chhugani, highlighted that Binance’s reputation with retail non-U.S. customers has remained strong throughout the crisis. 

Despite the settlement, Binance is expected to remain a “material entity in non-U.S. markets.” 

However, the report also anticipates increased competition from rivals such as Coinbase and new exchanges in regulated markets like Hong Kong and Singapore.


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