Protego Trust Bank N.A. announced the appointment of Brian P. Brooks and Michael A. Carpenter to its board, deepening the board’s expertise in digital assets, regulatory compliance and bank operations as the bank nears the conclusion of the conversion process to a federally chartered national bank.
In 2021, Protego Trust was granted a conditional federal charter from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and was first chartered by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions. The company was first backed by Science Inc., the pioneering startup studio and affiliated funds, based in Santa Monica, Calif.
“As demand for digital assets such as cryptocurrency increases, Protego is well-positioned to help institutional investors securely benefit from this emerging asset class,” said Greg Gilman, founder of Protego Trust Bank. “Brian’s deep expertise in cryptocurrencies and federal banking regulation, and Michael’s strong leadership at banks such as Ally Financial Inc. and CIT Group, bring critical skills and knowledge as we prepare to launch our platform and service.”
Widely recognized as a leader in financial services law and policy, and emerging technologies, Brooks served as acting U.S. Comptroller of the Currency until January 2021, where he was instrumental in the agency’s decision to approve the first digital asset banks. He is currently CEO of Bitfury Group, focused on making AI, blockchain, bitcoin and other new technologies secure and trusted. He previously served as chief legal officer of cryptocurrency platform Coinbase Global Inc., executive vice president and general counsel at Fannie Mae, and vice chairman of OneWest Bank N.A. He has served on a variety of government, public company and private boards including the boards of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Fannie Mae, Voyager Digital and Spring Labs. He also was a voting member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.
Given the complexities and opportunities represented by digital assets, institutional investors require a secure and compliant partner that welcomes regulation while embracing new technology and approaches to investing, said Brooks.
Protego Trust Bank’s team is disciplined in balancing those requirements with a broad understanding of how distributed ledger technologies will transform the way financial assets are issued, custodied, traded, and managed throughout their lifecycle.
Carpenter is well respected across the financial industry. He led Ally Financial, a leading digital bank, for six years through its initial public offering. He’s currently on the board of CIT Group and CIT Bank N.A., recently acquired by First Citizens Bank, creating a bank with more than $100 billion in assets. Previously he held several senior positions at Citigroup including chairman and CEO of Citigroup Alternative Investments, as well as chairman and CEO of the bank’s Global Corporate & Investment Bank including Salomon Smith Barney. Earlier in his career, he held senior positions at Travelers Group, Kidder Peabody and GE Capital.
"Digital assets, and the investment opportunities they create, will fundamentally change the way banking and investment communities function", said Carpenter.
“In building a modern trust bank, Protego’s approach reflects a deep understanding of how the past has shaped today’s banking industry while defining tomorrow.”
Brooks and Carpenter join five other independent directors on Protego’s board including:
(Retired) Rear Admiral Danelle Barrett served in the U.S. Navy for more than 30 years, focused on digital transformation, cyber strategy and information technology operations. As a flag officer, she served as director of Current Operations at U.S. Cyber Command and deputy chief information officer on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.
Brian Golob, founding partner and CEO of Golob Partners, is an expert in banking, investment management and legal and regulatory programs. Previously he spent nearly 20 years at Russell Investments, including serving as CEO of Russell Capital and global general counsel and chief compliance officer.
Mark Kritzman is president and CEO of Windham Capital Management LLC and a senior partner at State Street Associates, of which he was a founding director. He serves on the boards of the Institute for Quantitative Research in Finance and the Investment Fund for Foundations. He has written six books including Puzzles of Finance and The Portable Financial Analyst.
David H. Straus, currently a director at Seattle’s First Sound Bank, has spent his career building and running banks in the state of Washington. Previously he founded Fortune Bank, a Seattle-based community bank he sold to HomeStreet Bank, where he then served as senior executive vice president. Earlier in his career, he was president of Wells Fargo’s Business Banking for Washington and president of Pacific Northwest Bank.
Jamie Selway most recently served as global head of institutional markets at Blockchain, a leading software provider for digital assets, where he developed institutional-grade execution and custody programs. Previous roles included head of electronic brokerage at Investment Technology Group, managing director at White Cap Trading, chief economist at Archipelago and equity derivative researcher at Goldman Sachs.
The board is chaired by Colette Taylor, who served as the former CEO and Chair of Russell Investment Trust Company for more than 10 years. There she was responsible for the governance and oversight programs, enterprise risk management including cybersecurity, and revenue growth through the creation of new fiduciary products and services. She also developed the first diversity, equity and inclusion program for the firm.
Additional directors include Mike Jones, Tom Dare, and Peter Pham from start-up studio Science Inc. that originally incubated and invested in the bank.
"Protego’s directors bring a wealth of experience essential to launching a modern trust bank with the people, technology and processes that allow clients to securely custody, trade, lend and issue digital and other assets", said Gilman.
There is nothing these leaders haven’t seen during their distinguished careers across banking and technology.
About Protego Trust Bank N.A.
Protego Trust Bank N.A. is a modern trust bank, built to serve institutional clients as they enter the emerging market for digital assets. The bank provides the fully and appropriately regulated infrastructure as well as the advanced technology systems, processes, and procedures that enable clients to safely and securely reap the benefits cryptocurrencies and digital assets can provide.
Anne Marie Squeo