Binance Hires Wall Street Specialist Wei Zhou as CFO

Zhou, who has managed several IPOs on NYSE and NASDAQ, will be responsible for financial risk at one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges.

Binance, one of the world’s largest digital asset trading platforms, has hired Wei Zhou, an experienced capital markets specialist, as a chief financial officer (CFO), it said on Thursday. Zhou will lead the Binance finance team, including the management of financial risks.

The new crypto executive, a Bachelor of Economics and East Asian studies from the Harvard University, started his career in Goldman Sachs Hong Kong, where he worked for four years as a specialist in the investment banking division till 2015. However, most of Zhou’s professional experience is related to successful Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) of two of his previous employers. As a CFO of Chinese online recruitment platform Zhaopin Limited and one of the country’s leading advertising companies, Charm communication, he led both firms’ IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ, respectively.

“Mr. Zhou brings over 15 years of executive experience of leading technology, internet and media companies where he has built up particular expertise in financial management and accounting, capital markets and investments, as well as growing and scaling business operations in both China and the United States,” Binance explained in a statement on Twitter.

Despite Zhou IPO skills, Binance’s founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao denied any plans of going public. Zhou’s hiring came at the same time as one of the Asian exchange’s competitors, US Robinhood, said it is preparing for an IPO and is seeking for a CFO.

“Binance [has] no plans for IPO, but that doesn't make those experiences less valuable in our new industry.  On the contrary, those are very much needed,” Zhao tweeted.

Zhou currently serves as a vice chairman of Grinder, an LGBT dating application, whose acquisition by a Chinese gaming company, Beijing Kunlun Tech, has been led by him. He will work on both positions - at Binance and Grinder - in the next months.

Zhou is the latest example of managers from the traditional financial system who decide to move to the crypto and blockchain world. Earlier this week, Japanese cryptocurrency startup FXcoin hired Yasuo Matsuda, an ex-Deutsche Bank dealer as its virtual coin strategist, while another former executive from the German lender, Edward Budd, revealed his new blockchain company with Julio Faura, a previous technological innovation manager at Santander.