Ripple Board Lands JPMorgan Veteran and Regulatory Expert Sandie O’Connor

Sandie O’Connor, the former chief regulatory affairs officer for JPMorgan Chase,  is joining Ripple’s board of directors, the company announced Tuesday. 

O’Connor will provide counsel on “government relations and regulatory initiatives” for the company’s next phase as Ripple expands and seeks regulatory clarity in the United States, it said. 

The announcement comes as San Francisco-based Ripple is openly contemplating relocating its headquarters to another country, citing a lack of such clarity, particularly on the legal status of XRP, the cryptocurrency it owns and helps develop. 

Whatever decision the firm ultimately makes, O’Connor brings considerable regulatory and risk-management chops. During her time at JPMorgan, she served on multiple firm-wide governance committees including the ones overseeing risk and capital. She joined JPMorgan in 1988, and during her over three-decade long career also “led engagement with G-20 regulators and policymakers” for the bank, Ripple said. She retired from the institution in April 2019, according to her LinkedIn profile.
O’Connor still sits on advisory committees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Office of Financial Research, an independent bureau created within the Treasury Department to monitor systemic risks after the 2008 global financial crisis. 

She appears to have filled the seat on Ripple’s board vacated by Ken Kurson, who was arrested on cyberstalking charges in October, according to a report by the New York Times. Reportedly a close ally of the Trump family, Kurson also founded a crypto and blockchain news website called Modern Consensus. Ripple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Once a top lieutenant to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, O’Connor has also appeared regularly on American Banker magazine’s annual ranking of the most powerful women in banking.

On Ripple’s board, she will serve alongside former New York regulator Ben Lawsky, architect of the state’s BitLicense regulations, former diplomat Anja Manuel, and financial services industry veterans Yoshitaka Kitao and Craig Phillips, among others. 

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