Libra Association appoints former OCC prosecutor as general counsel

By: Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia Shawdagor
Jinia is a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast based in Sweden. She loves everything positive, travelling, and extracting joy and… read more.
on Nov 26, 2020
  • Saumya Bhavsar joins Libra Networks with two decades of experience in financial services.
  • Per Libra Networks’ MD, Bhavsar will help launch and manage a compliant payment system.
  • Bhavsar believes that the Libra project will help introduce unprecedented financial inclusion.

The Libra Association, the body that manages Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project has hired Saumya Bhavsar, an ex-OCC prosecutor and central bank expert. The organization unveiled this news via an official announcement on November 25, noting that Bhavsar will take on the role of general counsel of Libra Networks, a subsidiary of the Libra Association, which operates the blockchain-based Libra payment system. Reportedly, this appointment is part of the association’s plan to launch a crypto and payments system.

Commenting on her appointment in the announcement, Bhavsar said,

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“I am thrilled to be joining the Libra Association as it progresses toward enabling a more inclusive global financial system. Along with many in the banking industry, I have been watching the Libra project from afar and believe the Libra payment system is poised to transform the industry and enable unprecedented financial innovation and inclusion at a time when we need it most.”

Libra Networks’ managing director, James Emmett noted that Bhavsar is a strategic leader. He went on to add that she has demonstrated her ability to successfully handle legal, regulatory, and operational roles in one of the most highly-regulated sectors. According to Emmett, Bhavsar’s appointment is crucial as it will help launch and manage a compliant payment system.

Bhavsar’s previous roles

Bhavsar has joined Libra Networks with 20 years of leadership experience in financial services. Prior to this appointment, she worked in leading US and EU banks and regulatory agencies. Her most recent role was at Credit Suisse, where she served as managing director, global head of regulatory affairs, and group head of data protection.

Other banking roles include managing director at UBS and assistant general counsel and Euroclear Bank. In these capacities, she headed legal that advised on and ensured compliance with cross-border regulations, settlement agreements with US authorities. The teams also handled merger transactions on behalf of the banks. According to the Libra Association, Bhavsar’s vast knowledge in banking, securities and privacy laws topped off with innovative practical solutions have helped define her as a trusted leader, advisor, and strategist.

Apart from being a banking expert, Bhavsar is also knowledgeable in legal, regulatory, and compliance matters. She spent a substantial amount of time working in the public sector, where she worked as a senior attorney in the Enforcement and Compliance division at the US Department of Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). She also worked in the European Commission and British Parliament.

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