Teng’s focus on regulatory compliance could chart a new course for the exchange amid recent legal upheavals.
On November 21, 2023, the operator of the Binance cryptocurrency exchange – Binance Holdings Limited – and its head Changpeng Zhao pleaded guilty to a number of charges brought by American regulators.
Early years of Richard Teng
Teng was born in Singapore in 1971. He obtained a Master’s degree in Applied Finance from Western Sydney University and graduated with honors in Accounting from Nanyang Technological University. Additionally, Teng participated in the Wharton School of Business’s executive education program.
30 years in financial services
According to official information, Richard Teng joined the Binance team in August 2021 as the CEO of Binance Singapore.
Soon after, Teng expanded his responsibilities to oversee Binance operations across MENA, Europe, and all global regions outside the United States. In this capacity, he spearheaded local teams to forge strategic alliances, foster innovation, and advance the local cryptocurrency landscape.
Bringing over three decades of expertise in financial services and regulatory affairs, prior to his tenure at Binance, Teng held the position of CEO at the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Financial Services Authority.
His professional trajectory includes serving as the Chief Regulatory Officer at the Singapore Exchange and a 13-year tenure as Director of Corporate Finance at the Monetary Authority of Singapore, overseeing diverse segments including banking, insurance, and capital markets.
Teng’s academic achievements include an honors Master of Applied Finance from the University of Western Australia, complemented by a First Class Bachelor of Accounting from Nanyang Technological University.
In response to his appointment, the newly appointed head of Binance expressed intentions to work with regulators “to globally maintain high standards that promote innovation and ensure consumer protection.” He also plans to continue working with the company’s partners to drive growth and adoption of web3.
Career path surge in Binance
Teng joined Binance in 2021 as the head of the exchange’s Singapore division. Subsequent reports indicated his role expansion to reinforce the platform team’s compliance efforts.
Teng’s career at Binance progressed at the speed of light:
- December 2021 – MENA market head;
- November 2022 – head of European and MENA markets;
- April 2023 – head of the markets of Europe, Asia and MENA;
- May 2023 – head of regional markets.
Effectively overseeing all Binance operations beyond the United States, Teng held de facto responsibility for multiple regions. In a statement, Changpeng Zhao, Binance’s CEO, lauded Teng with the following remarks:
“Richard is a highly qualified leader and, with over three decades of financial services and regulatory experience, he will navigate the company through its next period of growth. He will ensure Binance delivers on our next phase of security, transparency, compliance, and growth.”Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance
New head of Binance
Binance recently announced that it had reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network regarding their investigations into registration, compliance, and past sanctions compliance. However, the crypto exchange had to sacrifice its leadership – Teng replaced Zhao as CEO of Binance.
As head of Binance, Teng’s main task will be to prevent the outflow of users from the exchange, as well as ensure the reliability and security of the platform. He noted that he will work with regulators to “maintain high standards at the global level that promote innovation and ensure consumer protection.”
In addition, he promised to pay more attention to cooperation with government agencies. This is the only way he can make the necessary contribution to the development of a unified regulatory framework that will promote innovation and protect consumers.
Another challenge is to begin the transformation from an “unmanaged” technology startup to a traditional financial institution.
According to Teng, the company will begin to build a traditional corporate structure, including a board of directors, a physical address, and transparent financial activities. He says such a transformation can bear fruit in the long term.