Bridgewater Holdings Exec Joins Anchorage Digital Bank Board Ahead of Growth Spurt

Connie Shoemaker, who helped build Goldman Sachs’ commercial bank, is a longtime friend of the digital assets company.


Courtesy photo

Anchorage Digital Bank, the only digital asset bank chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency that provides custody, and other services to institutional investors, has added a high-profile hedge fund employee to its board of directors.

Connie Shoemaker, the chief operating officer and chief financial officer at Bridgewater Associates Holdings, the parent company of the namesake hedge fund, will be an independent member of the board going forward, according to Anchorage, which is expected to announce the news on Thursday.

Adding Shoemaker was an opportunity to formalize a relationship with the digital assets company and a longtime friend of the firm, Anchorage co-founder and CEO Nathan McCauley told Institutional Investor. She was one of the first people shortly after Anchorage started in 2017 to visit the company and discuss what it needed to do to serve investors like university endowments, hedge funds, and family offices.

“Since then, we’ve remained very close as the company has scaled and bounced ideas off of her,” McCauley said. Shoemaker had the right attitude and gave Anchorage thoughtful advice about developing its technology and the process of becoming regulated, he added.

Before Bridgewater, Shoemaker worked at Macquarie Asset Management and spent more than 15 years working for Goldman Sachs, where she helped build the commercial bank. She also spent time as the global head of strategy at Goldman and helped it launch other new businesses.

“In the years since I first met the founders, I’ve seen incredible growth at Anchorage Digital. Today, I’m excited to be joining the Board of Anchorage Digital Bank to help further that growth with my background building a bank at exactly the type of institution Anchorage Digital is attracting,” Shoemaker said in a statement.


The other independent board members are regulation-focused. Sarah Elliott is a former OCC attorney who has served as chief compliance officer and general counsel at companies; Julie Williams is a veteran of the OCC who twice served as acting Comptroller of the Currency.

Anchorage expects to ramp up hiring in the near future as its business grows, McCauley said. More large asset managers are seeking the services Anchorage provides as they create crypto-based products, like bitcoin ETFs, and start tokenizing real-world assets.

“We’ve seen a steady stream of [new customers] that has continued irrespective of whether the current prices are high, low, stable, unstable. The decision to get into a whole new asset class necessarily needs to be more a long-term oriented decision that the institutions are making,” McCauley said. Beyond the typical institutional investors, Anchorage is also working with more registered investment advisors because it satisfies the SEC’s custody requirements as an OCC-chartered bank. But even organizations that aren’t registered — like many family offices — still require their partners to be secure and reliable.

“There’s nothing that is more reliable within the U.S. financial operational apparatus than OCC chartered trust banks. So knowing that you have incredible tech built by the team here at Anchorage, incredible regulatory structure that is delivered by the fact that we’re overseen by the OCC. and a board that has industry luminaries like Connie on it, it’s kind of a full package to let people know that they can trust the services that are developed here,” McCauley said.