Senior NAB banker and blockchain specialist Lisa Wade admits she had never heard of tiny DigitalX (ASX:DCC) when a recruiter contacted her about the potential role as the $63 million company’s newest chief executive.

But the more she researched the DigitalX, the more she realised what a tremendous opportunity the role presented.

“Especially with my background and the projects I’ve been running for National Australia Bank, and the momentum that blockchain is getting and the pace at which finance is going to transform,” she said.

“I think DigitalX is actually in the driving seat of being able to lead that change. And the funds management industry will be revolutionised, as well.”

‘A very clear strategy’

DigitalX has been working on a three-pronged corporate strategy involving crypto and blockchain.

First, it has a funds management business with $40.1 million in digital assets as of November 30, with its Bitcoin Fund being recently recognised as investment-grade.

Second, it is working on its own blockchain projects such as Drawbridge, its digital compliance software that will integrate into the ASX’s blockchain system named Synfini, which will power the CHESS replacement.”

Third, it has its own investments in digital assets and digital finance projects, including a corporate treasury of 215.95 Bitcoin and 12.5 million Human Protocol (HMT) tokens.

“What I really loved is that they’ve got a very clear strategy, and one of the things that I bring to the table is being able to develop the adjacencies across those three strategic pillars, and really bring them together under one umbrella – the pointy end of the arrow, if you like.”

‘Putting shareholders first’

Wade is well-known in the Australian blockchain industry, having led Project Atom, a collaboration between the Reserve Bank of Australia, CBA and Perpetual, that explored using a central bank digital currency for wholesale market participants.

She’s also worked on Project Carbon, an alliance tokenising voluntary carbon credits, and was recently named “gender and diversity leader of the year” at the 2021 Australian Blockchain Industry Awards.

Wade also has a background in funds management, having managed investment portfolios with the Clean Energy Fund and ESCOR Group.

She says she wants shareholders to know she has strong experience across the three key pillars of the DigitalX business, having grown up as a stockbroker and worked as a “jack of all trades” for Citi in London, including arbitrage and derivatives trading. (At one point she was the only female market maker in the entire UK market, she adds).

“I do have a very strong background in shareholder focus, and putting shareholders returns first,” said Wade, a 49-year-old Sydney native.

“I can’t wait to bring DigitalX into the mainstream and really grow from the foundations that they’ve laid, because really, what a great team.”

During background checks for the role she had to tell her referees about the potential opportunity, “and every single one of them said please let know when I can buy shares,”  — as did her former colleagues at NAB.

This article was developed in collaboration with DigitalX, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.