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Libra Association hires financial crime veteran Robert Werner as general counsel

Libra Association hires financial crime veteran Robert Werner as general counsel

The Libra Association has hired former banker and regulatory enforcement officer Robert Werner as general counsel, as it bids to pass muster with its application for a payments systems licence from Swiss financial authorities.

Prior to joining the Libra Association, Werner was the founder and CEO of GRH Consulting and held leadership positions at several top tier institutions, including HSBC and Goldman Sachs, where he was the enterprise executive for policy, privacy and regulatory relations, in addition to heading financial crime compliance for Merrill Lynch.

Previously, Werner served at the highest levels of the United States Department of the Treasury as the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control, (OFAC), Senior Counsel to the Under Secretary of the Treasury, Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, and Assistant General Counsel for Enforcement and Intelligence in the Office of the General Counsel.

His appointment comes as the organisation strives to make a breakthrough with regulatory bodies in support of its Facebook-led cryptocurrency initiative. On April 16, the Association formally initiated the payment system licensing process with Finma, billing it as "an important milestone as the Libra Association moves to a more operational phase of the project".

Werner says of his new role: “I have dedicated my career to combating financial crime and helping complex organizations achieve regulatory compliance, both in government and in the private sector. I look forward to meaningfully contributing to such an impactful project.”

His appointment comes just weeks after the Association named HSBC chief legal officer and former US treasury department official Stuart Levey as its first CEO.

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