Our Namesake

Menai shares its moniker with an iconic suspension bridge completed in 1826. Forged from wrought-iron and stone in Wales, the Menai Suspension Bridge has carried explorers and new-world architects for more than 200 years.

At Menai, we connect worlds. We enable our clients to participate in the emerging digital assets space via products and services that are more sophisticated, reliable and scalable than existing offerings – underpinned by the same world-class operational practices, risk and compliance mechanisms, security measures and infrastructure they have come to expect from today’s leading investment banks.

Our Values


We are deeply committed to driving the industry toward excellence by playing a leading role in unlocking the full potential of digital assets as an asset class


We use our team’s decades of diverse experience in well-regulated institutions, as well as significant experience in the emerging digital finance industry, to achieve our goals


We are dedicated to doing business and driving innovation in a data-driven, honest manner, deepening trust in the industry and doing right by our clients, partners and the digital finance community


By building more reliable infrastructure and driving more investment in the digital assets space, Menai hopes to help accelerate the democratization of finance and create a financial system that is more accessible to all


We have an unwavering focus on building the future of finance through institutional-grade products, services and infrastructure


We will bridge emerging digital markets with established markets, and cultivate partnerships with leading entities in both established and digital finance


We are committed to always being there when our clients need us, and helping make digital assets more credible, accessible and efficient

Menai Asset Management

Institutional-Grade Investment Products

Through its investment products – which currently span a diversified index fund and an actively managed opportunities fund – Menai seeks to enable its clients to access the significant upside of digital assets while reducing their exposure to the operational, economic risks, and lack of portfolio diversity currently associated with investing in the space.

By investing in a broad mix of assets that span a wide range of potential use cases and regularly rebalancing its funds, Menai enables its clients to buy into a more objective, holistic, and adaptive vision for the digital asset space – with the goal of creating an enduring portfolio with greater upside.

Menai-MarketVector Diversified Digital Asset Index

The Menai-MarketVector Diversified Digital Asset Index provides an opportunity to optimize risk-adjusted returns for global investors and alternative asset portfolios.

The Index is built on the belief that investors in the space should be diversifying investment among the distinct use cases of digital assets.

Digital assets, together with blockchain technology, are transforming financial services globally by decentralizing the three core pillars of financial services: the storage, transfer and processing of value. Each of these use cases represents a tremendous disruption opportunity and each major cryptocurrency is designed to optimize for that use case.

The three use cases form a strong basis of diversification to construct a resilient portfolio of digital assets. Menai has created a customized index based on the principles of diversification through these use cases. Investing in digital assets on the basis of this index provides a holistic exposure to the transformation, while mitigating the idiosyncratic risks of individual digital assets.




The Team

Zoe Cruz

Founder & CEO
Zoe Cruz is the Founder and CEO of Menai Financial Group, and a highly accomplished executive who spent decades at the forefront of the financial services industry, working in trading and capital markets. Zoe had a 25-year tenure at Morgan Stanley, where she was Co-President from 2005 to 2007; in this role, she ran major revenue-generating businesses, including the company’s securities, risk management and information technology organizations. Prior to that, Zoe was the Global Head of Fixed Income, Commodities and Foreign Exchange from 2001 until 2005. She joined Morgan Stanley in 1982 and was the third founding member of the company’s foreign exchange trading group. Zoe is also a former Senior Advisor at Promontory Financial Group, LLC, and the founder of an investment management firm, Voras Capital Management. In addition to her leadership position at Menai, Zoe serves as Founder and CEO of EOZ Global, a single-family office. She also sits on the boards of the Harvard Kennedy School Center for Business and Government Advisory Council. Zoe previously sat on the boards of Ripple, Old Mutual PLC, Morgan Stanley, Harvard Dean’s Council, MAN Group and Bowdoin College Investment Committee.
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Shubin Jha

Chief Investment Officer
Shubin Jha is the Chief Investment Officer for Menai Financial Group. Shubin has been focused on cryptocurrency research for three years and leads a team of analysts examining the core value proposition and economic structures of various cryptocurrency projects and tokens across a variety of use cases. Prior to this, Shubin spent 17 years researching and investing across various markets, industries and securities at three hedge funds. Most recently, he spent seven years at Southpaw Asset Management as Managing Director of Research. He has significant experience in studying macro variables, product and market analyses, as well as valuations driven by both fundamental and technical factors. Prior to Southpaw, Shubin worked with Zoe Cruz at Voras Capital Management, where he conducted macroeconomic and fixed income investment research. Shubin began his career in International Finance in India. He has an undergraduate degree in Economics from Delhi University, Master of Business Administration degree from New York University and earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.
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Karen Jamesley

Chief Operating Officer
Karen Jamesely is Chief Operating Officer for Menai Financial Group with 30 years of experience in Financial Services.  She has deep expertise in the areas of Strategic Planning, Talent Development/Executive Recruitment, Executive Compensation, M&A Integration and Succession Planning. Karen spent the majority of her career at Morgan Stanley in the Human Resources Division where she ultimately became the Firm’s Global CHRO. She was the HR Lead on transformational events such as the Dean Witter merger, Discover Card spin off and Smith Barney acquisition. After leaving Morgan Stanley, Karen joined Korn Ferry as a Senior Client Partner in the Financial Service Practice focusing on identifying and delivering consultancy services across the entire talent spectrum.  Key initiatives included digital transformation, early leader development and succession planning. Karen holds a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Marketing from Pace University.
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Laya Khadjavi

Head of Strategic Partnerships & Client Relations
Laya Khadjavi is the Head of Strategic Partnerships & Client Relations for Menai Financial Group. Laya is a seasoned finance executive with more than 30 years of sell side and buy side experience, with a focus on solution-driven and innovative capital markets and investment products. Before joining Menai, Laya was an independent consultant, providing advisory services to institutions including FinTech companies. Prior to that, Laya was the COO, Head of Strategy and Business Development at ICE Canyon, a global investment management firm specializing in Emerging Markets. Before ICE Canyon, Laya was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley where, during her 23-year tenure, she held a succession of senior management positions, including the Global Head of Markets in Global Wealth Management and the Global Head of various structured products platforms within the Fixed Income Division in Institutional Securities. Laya began her career as a Financial Analyst at Salomon Brothers. Laya is a non-executive board member of GoldenTree ABS Management LLC. She also serves on a number of non-profit boards, councils and visiting committees, including the Institute of International Education, Brown University and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Laya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics-Economics from Brown University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia University.
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Steven La Sala

Chief Financial Officer
Steven La Sala, CPA, MBA, has over 35 years of significant experience in all aspects of Accounting, Business Planning, Taxation, Forensic Accounting and Auditing.  He is the founder and president of a highly successful full-service AICPA Peer Reviewed accounting firm and consulting firm, La Sala CPA, P.C. that prides itself on providing all clients with extremely professional and personal advice, counsel and assistance, derived from years of advanced training, technical experience and financial acumen. The firm has a wide range of experience across numerous industries, institutions and organizations. Prior to forming La Sala CPA, P.C., Steven’s experience included auditing at a top ten accounting firm, Laventhol & Horwath, taxation at Margolin Winer & Evens and forensic accounting and business valuations at the Rand Consulting Group. Steven holds a BS Degree from St. John’s University, College of Business Administration in Accounting and Economics and a MBA Degree from St. John’s University, Graduate School of Business with a specialization in taxation. Memberships include the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), the NYSSCPA’s Business Valuation and Litigation Services Committee and the NYSSCPA’s Taxation of Mergers, Acquisitions, Dispositions and Other Business Transaction Committee. He is a Certified Public Accountant, a QuickBooks Certified Professional Advisor, a former President and Treasurer of the Old Field Club and a current board member of the Frank Melville Memorial Foundation.
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Andrew Lefkowitz

Head of Operations
Andrew is Head of Operations for Menai Financial Group with 12+ years of Operations experience in Financial Services. Prior to joining Menai, Andrew spent 10+years at Goldman Sachs, most recently as VP of Brokerage Negotiations within GS’ Securities Division. Additionally, Andrew has had various roles within GS’ Global Markets Division as well as Operations roles within Clearing, and Derivatives Middle Office. With a proven track record of optimizing businesses, Andrew is skilled in client negotiations, FP&A, expense and project management. Andrew also brings digital asset expertise in blockchain transfers, wallets, exchanges and custody solutions. Andrew has a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from Hofstra University where he graduated summa cum laude.
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Octave Oppetit

Research Analyst
Octave Oppetit is a Research Analyst at Menai Financial Group. He has a broad and first-rate background at the intersection of technology and finance.   He was formerly the cofounder of Fractal Logistics, a data science-powered, VC-backed commodity trading firm. His career started in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs.   Octave holds an M.Eng in Engineering and Computer Science from Oxford University (First Class), and an MBA from Harvard Business School (Distinction).
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Martin Gaspar

Research Analyst
Martin Gaspar is a Research Associate at Menai and has a background in conducting fundamental research and cryptocurrency analysis. Martin was previously a research analyst at cryptocurrency exchange CrossTower and a fixed income research analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. He has a passion for crypto and has followed the space extensively since 2012. Martin holds a B.A. in Economics from Colorado College.
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Independent Board of Directors

Danuta Gray

Independent Director
Danuta Gray, an Independent Director for Menai Financial Group, is an award-winning businesswoman who has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunication sector.

Most recently, Danuta was the Chairman of Telefonica O2 in Ireland after serving as the Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2010. During her time at Telefonica O2, Danuta helped lead the IPO demerger from BT of O2 plc through the £18bn sale to Telefonica. Danuta previously held several senior positions within BT Group, with a focus on expanding shareholder relationships. Danuta began her career in IT program management.

Danuta Gray is a non-executive director for the luxury fashion group, Burberry. Danuta also serves as the chair of Direct Line Insurance Group and Senior Advisor for Pollen Street Capital. She is a former chair of St Modwen Property. Danuta has previously served on the boards of Aldermore Bank, Old Mutual, Page Group, Paddy Power and Aer Lingus.
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Gary Rich

Independent Director
Gary Rich is an Independent Director for Menai Financial Group. As founder and president of Rich Leadership since 2007, Gary provides counsel to CEO’s and their Boards on issues of leadership development and organization performance management.

From 2002 to 2007, Gary served as President of QSP, a division of The Readers Digest Association, and from 1996 to 2002 Gary held Chief Human Resources Officer positions at The Readers Digest Association and ACNielson. Gary started his career at American Express Company where he held various executive positions in the US, France and England. Gary holds a Master degree from Columbia University in Organizational Psychology.

Gary is a member of the Board of Directors of Franchise Group Inc (FRG-NASDAQ), Stingray Digital (RAY.A TSE) and the Mercon Coffee Group. He serves as the head of the Compensation Committees of both Stingray and Mercon.
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Sir Simon Robey

Independent Director
Sir Simon Robey is an Independent Director for Menai Financial Group. Sir Simon has decades of distinguished experience in corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and advisory. Sir Simon currently serves as the co-founder of Robey Warshaw LLP where they advise many of the biggest companies in the UK, and select non-UK companies, on a wide variety of matters.

Prior to founding Robey Warshaw LLP in 2014, Sir Simon had a 25-year career at Morgan Stanley. While at Morgan Stanley, Sir Simon was the lead adviser on over US$1trillion of transactions, including mergers, defenses, acquisitions, restructurings and general financial matters. He held a variety of senior management positions, including Co-Head of Global Mergers and Acquisitions, Global Head of Financial Institutions and, latterly, Head of Morgan Stanley in the UK. Sir Simon began his career as a corporate finance adviser in 1983 at Lazard Brothers in London.

Sir Simon is Chairman of Britten Pears Arts and a trustee of YCAT (Young Classical Artists Trust). He is Honorary Vice President of the Royal Opera House, having been a trustee from 2006 until July 2016 and its Chairman from 2008 to 2016 and again from May 2021 to July 2022. He was a trustee of the Royal Academy of Music from 2004 to June 2014. Sir Simon was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2016 for services to music.
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Troy Paredes

Independent Director
Troy Paredes, an Independent Director for Menai Financial Group, has extensive experience in government, regulations, enforcement, and compliance. Troy is the founder of Paredes Strategies LLC, which advises on financial regulation, compliance, risk management, corporate governance, and regulatory strategy.

From 2008-2013, Troy was an SEC Commissioner, appointed by President George W. Bush. Prior to that, Troy was a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis. He also has been a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at NYU School of Law, and a Distinguished Policy Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Paredes is the author of numerous academic articles on financial regulation, corporate governance, innovation, behavioral economics, and administrative agencies, and he is a co-author (beginning with the 4th edition) of a multi-volume securities regulation treatise with Louis Loss and Joel Seligman entitled Securities Regulation. Additionally, Paredes co-hosts a podcast on fintech called “Appetite for Disruption.”
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Bruce Hemphill

Independent Director
Bruce Hemphill, an Advisor for Menai Financial Group, is a United Kingdom qualified lawyer with 28 years of C-suite experience in the financial services industry. Bruce currently serves as an operating partner at Apollo Investment Consulting Europe Ltd. From 2015 to 2019, Bruce was Group Chief Executive of Old Mutual Plc., where he was Chairman of Old Mutual Wealth and Old Mutual Emerging Markets, and sat on the boards of Old Mutual Plc. and Nedbank. Prior to that, Bruce held executive positions, including Co-Head of Investment Banking at Standard Corporate and Merchant Bank, Deputy Chief Executive at Standard Commercial Bank, Chief Executive at Stanlib Asset Management, Chief Executive at Liberty Holdings Ltd. and Chief Executive at Standard Bank Group Wealth, Insurance and Non-Bank Financial Services.
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Advisory Board

Stefan Thomas


Stefan Thomas is an Advisor for Menai Financial Group. Stefan has more than 15 years of experience as an open-source developer, a distributed systems advocate and an active angel investor. He is the co-inventor of Interledger Protocol, an open payments technology designed for payments between different stores of value, such as banks, mobile money schemes and blockchains. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Coil, a content platform powered by open-source web monetization technology that can stream micropayments. Prior to Coil, Stefan was the Chief Technology Officer of Ripple and one of the architects behind Codius, a universal smart contracts platform. Before that, he developed vast experience in digital currencies as both the founder of, the largest website for novice Bitcoin users, and as the creator of BitcoinJS, a software package used by a wide range of Bitcoin businesses all over the world. Stefan was one of the earliest developers in the Bitcoin ecosystem and played a big part in introducing Bitcoin to the masses in 2011 when he created an animated video “What is Bitcoin?”

Stefan is a Board Member of Imgur, an image sharing platform. He previously served on the boards of Omni, an on-demand storage and delivery solution, and OpenJS Foundation, an entity to help the development and adoption of JavaScript technology.

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News & Insights

MSCI & Menai Digital Assets Webinar - March 9, 2023

Please join MSCI and Menai for a lively discussion about the evolution of digital assets.

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2022 Year In Review & Thoughts for 2023

In this piece, Shubin Jha, Head of Asset Management, provides an overview of the events that transpired in 2022 and what we expect heading into 2023.

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Update - November 15, 2022

Recent Developments in the Digital Asset Market.

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MSCI Launches First Suite of Digital Assets Indexes, November 2022

Indexes developed in collaboration with Menai Financial Group and Compass Financial Technologies.

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Quarterly Research Brief, July 2022 – Crypto’s Dead, Long Live Crypto: The Path Forward in the Digital Transformation

In this Menai Quarterly Research Brief, we aim to put perspective around recent turmoil in the digital ecosystem by shifting focus back on use cases of crypto-blockchain technology and the fundamental thesis for long-term investors in this “Liquid VC” asset class.

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MSCI Announces Strategic Alliance with Menai Financial Group

Menai to provide advice to MSCI in connection with its development of digital asset solutions for institutional investors.

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Menai Appoints Adam H. Schuman as General Counsel

Menai Financial Group (“Menai”), as leading provider of institutional grade digital asset investment and trading services, today announced that Adam H. Schuman is joining the Company to serve as General Counsel.

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Build bridges, break bounds.

Menai Financial Group
10 East 53rd Street, 11th Floor

New York, NY 10022

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