Blockdaemon is scaling rapidly. From time to time, we like to take the opportunity to introduce you to some of our decentralized, and truly global, blockchain team. Today, we are shining the spotlight on our growing EMEA sales team (Europe, Middle East and Africa):
- Luke Dorney, Head of Business Development, EMEA
- Stefan Schmitt, Sales Director
- Macarena Linaza, Business Development Director, EMEA
- Adriana Kohlhofer, Relationship Manager, EMEA
Together, these team members have amassed decades worth of experience in international business development.
These core team members possess the vital ingredients for Blockdaemon’s success in this important region. They embody the culture, languages, and practices of their respective territory, combined with an intimate view of the business environment.
They also hold a deep understanding of the crypto and financial landscape across EMEA. Armed with such knowledge, team EMEA is set to drive Blockdaemon’s success to new heights.
Without further ado…
Introducing Luke Dorney, Head of Business Development, EMEA
Based in London, Luke has cultivated a truly international career. Over 20 years, he has garnered extensive Sales and Banking experience with the world’s leading financial institutions. Throughout this time, his primary focus has been developing strong, long-term client relationships.
Previously, Luke was Head of Sales and Partnerships for Zodia Custody out of the UK and led the commercial development of the firm from inception to launch. Zodia is an institutional-grade custody solution for crypto assets by Standard Chartered and in association with Northern Trust.
Luke spent 9+ years with J.P. Morgan in a sales capacity within the Corporate Investment Banking and Securities Clearing & collateral divisions. He also worked for BNY Mellon within their Clearing & Asset Servicing division.
He has successfully sold a broad range of traditional financial products and services to regulated institutions. His wealth of experience working with financial companies, such as banks, brokers, market makers, exchanges, hedge funds, asset managers, family offices and corporates, leads him to be perfectly placed to sell Blockdaemon’s institutional-grade products and services. Luke sees the immense potential of blockchain technology within these client bases.
Realizing the rapidly growing asset classes and use cases for crypto, Luke is now ready to apply his skills in bringing Blockdaemon’s blockchain tech stack to institutions. The changing regulatory landscape means that institutions will need to adapt quickly and rely on market-leading service providers, like Blockdaemon, more than ever.
Now, Luke brings his considerable skill set to lead-up Blokdaemon’s EMEA Business Development and Sales efforts.
Stefan Schmitt, Sales Director
Stefan is Blockdaemon’s Sales Director in the DACH and EMEA regions. He was born in Germany, and has a deep knowledge of the German market. He has a background in economics, having studied economics and finance in university. Previously, he worked for the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, the leading blockchain research lab in the German-speaking area, led by Professor Philipp Sandner.
During his time in the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, the bulk of the research was focused on practical blockchain applications. Today, Stefan supports customers with our blockchain nodes and “staking-as-a-service”, whose services are primarily used by financial institutions, crypto startups, and custodians. Stefan is passionate about clients utilizing Blockdaemon’s technology to build practical blockchain applications. He helps them understand the potential of Blockdaemon’s total ‘node stack’.
Stefan believes that Blockdaemon is well-positioned as a fully-compliant, regulated entity in the German and EMEA markets.
Blockdaemon is the compliant infrastructure provider that knows the European market, laws and is able to meet the requirements of the highly regulated financial industry.
As Sales Director, Stefan is always accessible to clients who would like to start or scale their business with Blockdaemon.
Introducing Macarena Linaza, Business Development Director
Macarena Linaza joins Blockdaemon from a rich and varied career background.
Her experience spans the realms of finance, tax, law, and, of course, crypto. Originally from Madrid, Macarena has lived in Spain, Malta, Luxembourg, and, currently, Portugal. She gained a Master’s Degree in International Taxation & Corporate law from the Pontifical University of Madrid (ICADE), becoming an International Lawyer by trade.
From this strong foundation, Macarena launched into several roles across many prestigious international law firms. She has also become an expert in international finance and has worked in Allen & Overy and the Bank of Spain.
In 2017, Macarena alchemized her deep knowledge of international law, finance, and a passion for blockchain into a truly international, crypto-focused career. This led her to KPMG Malta, where she helped pioneer the firm’s early blockchain & crypto initiatives in 2017. She contributed to the Maltese regulatory initiative by drafting the Virtual Financial Assets Act along with the KPMG team.
Following this, she joined PwC Luxembourg to lead the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain department. In this role, she liaised with top-tier crypto companies and payment institutions.
After her time in PwC Luxembourg, Macarena became Head of Iberia & LATAM at Bequant. They are one of the leading prime brokerage and crypto exchange companies. There, she drove international business development, with a focus on expanding the Bequant group.
Her depth of experience across all of these areas positions her well as an expert in EMEA. With her background, she is well placed to support her clients across this region.
As Business Development Director, Macarena’s goal is to help institutional clients bridge the gap between their business and blockchains. There is a growing appetite, Macarena says, among institutional clients for DeFi exposure. In this context, she hopes to help companies start, scale, and grow their crypto offerings, through Blockdaemon’s best-in-class node stack solutions.
Adriana Kohlhofer, Relationship Manager, EMEA
Adriana was born in Venezuela, and witnessed first-hand the ravaging effects that monetary inflation has had on her homeland.
Seeing the economic fallout caused by rampant money printing, Adriana recognized the immense potential inherent in crypto as a secure, alternative store of value. Crypto’s unique ability to decouple one’s geographic location from their economic destiny was of particular interest. In fact, this led Adriana to focus her career solely on championing blockchain technology. Adriana is passionate about bringing this transformative technology to as many people and companies as possible.
Today, Adriana is committed to nurturing Blockdaemon’s relationship with institutional clients in the EMEA region. Her tenure across industry-leading financial institutions has prepared her perfectly for such a position. Before joining us, Adriana worked in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs. In Goldman Sachs, she onboarded $8 million worth of assets under management to the firm. She managed the relationship between Goldman Sachs and ultra-high net worth clients and family offices.
She also has strong business development experience, including at Earnest Research. Her many achievements at the Series B startup included signing two new, high-value hedge funds as clients shortly after joining.
As Relationship Manager, Adriana is responsible for supporting clients with Blockdaemon’s industry-leading products and services. On a daily basis, Adriana helps institutions maximize their potential in the crypto sphere. She acts as an intermediary between clients and the Blockdaemon team. In this role, Adriana helps clients shape their blockchain strategy on a long-term basis.
Adriana attained her MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, with a focus on entrepreneurship.
At Blockdaemon, we’re constantly looking for the best people to serve the markets we cater for. We are proud to onboard Luke, Macarena, and Adriana as we continue to strategically expand our operations and talent in exciting new regions.
If you would like to join our growing team, be sure to check out our careers page today. We’ve got open roles in sales, client support, marketing, and engineering!