Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini has scored a big hire from the conventional finance world with the announcement of Jeanine Hightower-Selitto as the company’s new managing director of operations as it continues its efforts to expand its market share following a recent series of important decisions and hires.
Hightower-Selitto’s Profile and Background
Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto is the former Chief Operating Officer at International Securities Exchange, which she joined at its infancy as a relationship manager in 2004, helping to build it into a big exchange that was then acquired by NASDAQ.
She brings a wealth of experience in Wall Street customer relationship management which will be particularly important to Gemini as it attempts to transition into a new phase of growth with the recent launch of its own USD-pegged stablecoin and a rumoured expansion into the UK. Hightower-Selitto becomes the latest Wall Street personality to make the jump from traditional finance to Gemini following July’s capture of former NYSE Chief Information Officer Robert Cornish, who is now Gemini’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Task at Gemini
At Gemini, Hightower-Selitto’s responsibilities will cover the firm’s numerous business lines, according to a person familiar with the matter. Her main focus will be on improving the firm’s capacity and strategy for handling institutional investment, which is Gemini’s real target in the crypto exchange space.
Despite Gemini’s large media presence due to the publicity afforded by its founders - the Winkelvoss twins - Gemini currently commands less than one percent of the total crypto exchange trading market, per data from TradingView. It also has a substantially more cautious strategy than its bigger rivals such as Kraken and Coinbase, with only three assets listed on its platform.
Hightower-Sellitto is expected to oversee initiatives such as formulating client-specific customer service teams to better serve asset managers and hedge funds trading on the exchange. At the moment, customer service personnel cover a wide-range of clients, spanning retail brokerage, asset management, and hedge fund clients, to name a few.
Leveraging on her experience from the securities world, she will also explore things such as building out market-data capabilities and ways to appraise trade execution.