Bryan Ventura

Senior Associate - Financial Services

Bryan is an experienced financial services and investment funds lawyer.  He specialises in FinTech and virtual assets (crypto / Web3).  He also advises on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), start-ups, and general corporate and commercial law.

Bryan works at the forefront of developing financial services technology.  He is an expert in virtual asset projects (cryptocurrencies, NFTs, DeFi and blockchain) and their regulation.

His expertise covers financial markets conduct law (the FMCA) including licensing, Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (the AML/CFT Act), financial regulation, company law, the NZX Main Board Listing Rules, the NZX Participant Rules, and the Catalist Public Market Rules.

He advises on capital raising, commercial contracts, consumer T&Cs, establishment of investment funds (unit trusts, limited partnerships), corporate structuring, all forms of traditional financial services (retail and wholesale), and FinTechs.

Bryan advises Web3 companies and VASPs, start-ups, medium & large corporates, and financial institutions, based both in New Zealand and offshore.  His clients include Dimensional Fund Advisors, Macquarie Asset Management, Metrics Capital Partners, Implemented Investment Solutions, Squirrel, eToro, BlackBull Markets, Binance, Centrality (portfolio companies), Techemy, Cryptovoxels, Trust Alliance NZ, and Zap NZ.

In addition to his experience in private practice, Bryan has previously operated businesses and worked in-house at NZX (New Zealand’s first licensed securities exchange).  He is a versatile and commercially sound operator with a holistic grasp of financial services and the capital markets.  He has a deep understanding of technology relevant to FinTech and blockchain through his legal practice and his active involvement in the start-up and crypto investment communities.

Bryan is tireless, personable, and he understands his clients’ drivers and objectives.  He advises on complex (and at times unprecedented) legal and commercial matters under tight deadlines.  One prominent Web3 / crypto client says of working with him: “Bryan was pragmatic and used his deep knowledge of both the regulatory landscape and technology to ensure a smooth completion of the transaction. Bryan made himself readily available throughout the transaction and was a pleasure to deal with throughout”.

Bryan is the Chair of BlockchainNZ (which is part of the New Zealand Tech Alliance).  He is also a Council Member of the International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA) and a member of the Payments NZ Forum.

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Professional background

Recent work

Blockchain / crypto / NFTs/ DeFi / VASPs

Advising various blockchain / crypto / NFT / DeFi projects with the launch or expansion of their projects, including financial regulatory advice, capital raising and token issuances.  A small sample includes:

  • Advising Techemynt on all aspects of its New Zealand dollar stablecoin – NZDs – including legal and regulatory structuring and documentation.
  • Advising Altered State Machine on all aspects of its seed round and ASTO token launch
  • Advising a global VASP on its proposed launch of a fan token.
Purchase of AMP Capital GEFI business (New Zealand)

Advising Macquarie Asset Management on its purchase of AMP Capital’s GEFI business in New Zealand, including assistance with due diligence, sale documentation and financial regulatory matters.

Fund-hosting investment schemes

Advising Implemented Investment Solutions on the establishment of new fund hosting schemes with Metrics Capital Partners (wholesale scheme) and Squirrel Money (retail scheme), respectively.  The Squirrel Money scheme required advice on complex custody arrangements.

Launching into the NZ market

Advising eToro on its launch of various services into the New Zealand market (including crypto trading services), which encompassed various financial regulatory and commercial matters.

Compliance with the Financial Advisers regulation

In collaboration with MinterEllison Consulting, providing external assurance to TSB in respect of certain aspects of its compliance with the Financial Advisers Act 2008.

Digital Identity’s AML/CFT report

Providing legal input into Digital Identity NZ’s report on the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 and digital identity (report issued October 2020).

Admitted

  • 2014, New Zealand

Qualifications

  • LLB (Hons), BCom (Finance), University of Auckland

Affiliations

  • Member, Institute of Finance Professionals NZ Inc. (INFINZ)
  • Executive Council, BlockchainNZ
  • Council Member, International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA)
  • Member, Payments NZ

Specialisations

  • AML/CFT
  • Financial Services Regulation
  • FinTech
  • Funds Management
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • VASPs, Blockchain / Crypto

Awards

  • Member of MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Band 1 (Chambers Asia-Pacific) and Tier 1 (The Legal 500 Asia Pacific) Financial Services team