Meet Richard Teng: The Man Who Succeeds CZ at Binance 

Richard Teng has risen through the ranks at Binance to become CZ’s successor and new CEO of the exchange.

Richard Teng and Changpeng Zhao standing proudly in front of a golden 3D Binance logo.
  • Binance has named Richard Teng as CEO.
  • The new Binance chief boasts an extensive background in financial regulation.
  • Teng’s rise to CEO has long been anticipated.

While not yet a household name in crypto, Richard Teng has risen through the ranks at Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, at lightning speed.

In just over two years Teng has risen from CEO of Binance Singapore to Binance’s replacement for former CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao

Teng’s appointment as Binance CEO caps a years-long battle with U.S. regulators and signals the crypto exchange’s intent to pivot from its cavalier image to one of compliance. 

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In this article, DailyCoin discusses Teng’s appointment as Binance’s new chief executive and why the 52-year-old former civil servant was the obvious pick for the job. 

Richard Teng Replaces Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao

In a shock move on Tuesday, November 21, Zhao announced he would step down as Binance CEO as part of a plea deal with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other U.S. agencies for violating the Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering laws. The exchange swiftly announced that Teng would assume the role of CEO in CZ’s stead.

In a statement on 𝕏, Zhao described Teng as “a highly qualified leader,” adding that he trusted him to see the cryptocurrency exchange through its “next period of growth.”

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On his part, the new Binance chief asserted that he was honored to take on the role, outlining an immediate focus on assuring users of Binance’s financial strength, collaborating with regulators and driving blockchain and Web3 growth with existing partners.

“We [Binance] are here to stay,” he added.

Who is Richard Teng and why has Binance entrusted him with navigating the exchange’s path post regulatory battle and maintaining the safety of the company?

Who Is Binance’s New CEO, Richard Teng?

Not much is known about Teng’s personal life and upbringing. But his educational and professional background is well documented.

The new Binance chief graduated first class honors in Accounting from Singapore’s prestigious Nanyang Technological University. He also holds a master’s degree (distinction) in Applied Finance from The University of Western Australia. 

Following his studies at Nanyang, Teng went on to work in several senior regulatory roles in Singapore and Abu Dhabi.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore 

Teng’s earliest record of employment is at the Monetary Authority of Singapore—the country’s central bank and financial regulatory authority, per his LinkedIn. 

He served as Director of Corporate Finance at MAS for 13 years, from 1994 to 2007. 

Within this decade and nearly a half, Teng claims to have been involved in transforming Singapore’s financial sector. He also claims to have played a vital role in formulating Singapore’s Securities and Futures Act.

Teng left MAS for Singapore Exchange in 2007.

Singapore Exchange (SGX)

After a long stint at MAS, Teng assumed the role of chief regulatory officer of the Singapore Exchange (SGX). At SGX, he led a team that worked closely with MAS to ensure high standards of transparency and fairness in Singapore’s stock markets. 

Teng’s stint at SGX spanned seven and a half years. In 2015 he stepped out of Singapore, taking a position as CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).

ADGM 

In his six-year stint at ADGM, Teng is hailed for bringing the free trade center into the limelight, helping it to clinch awards like “Top IFC in MENA” for four consecutive years, “FinTech Regulator of the Year (MENA)” and “Best IFC (EMEA).”

Under Teng’s leadership, the ADGM’s financial services regulatory arm implemented several key initiatives, such as the FinTech regulatory sandbox, rules for digital asset exchanges, and digital banking.

With over 26 years under his belt in market regulations, Binance’s decision to  appoint Teng as CEO is a no-brainer, and has likely been a long time in the making.

An Expected Path for Richard Teng

According to Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, it took only two weeks to decide to hire Teng as Binance Singapore’s CEO in August 2021. Though hopes of securing a license in Singapore failed to materialize, Teng continued to rise through the ranks at Binance. He was appointed head of regional markets in May 2023 after serving as head of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

The first hint that Teng was being considered for the role of Binance CEO came in June 2023. Citing sources familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that Teng was favored to take over as CEO of Binance should Zhao indeed decide to yield the position, as was speculated at the time. 

The discussions came as the crypto exchange’s regulatory woes, particularly in the U.S., heightened. Among the considerations was Zhao’s inclusion in a Commodities Futures Trading Commission lawsuit for allegedly violating derivatives laws.

At the time, Binance’s leaders apparently already believed that Teng had the right pedigree to soothe the crypto exchange’s strained relationship with regulators.

On the Flipside 

  • Teng will have to work with U.S. regulators looking over his shoulder. Part of Binance’s $4.3 billion deal with the DOJ to settle criminal charges of conspiracy will see FinCEN appoint a monitor to oversee the exchange’s compliance program.
  • Teng was a high ranking Binance executive while some of the criminal actions outlined by the DOJ were carried out by the exchange.
  • Despite Teng’s pedigree and history in Singapore, he was unable to help the exchange secure a license in the Asian financial hub.

Why This Matters 

Despite massive penalties, the Binance-DOJ settlement represents a win for the exchange, as the deal allows it to continue operations. Still, the firm faces a significant hurdle to grow under supervision from U.S. regulators while still facing a lawsuit from the SEC. Whether Binance will be able to navigate this hurdle and maintain its standing as the world’s largest crypto exchange may largely depend on its new leader: Richard Teng.

Learn more about CZ’s resignation from Binance:
CZ Steps Down As Binance CEO And Plans Guilty Plea 

See how the markets reacted to news of CZ’s resignation:
Market Conflicted as CZ Quits and Binance Settles with DOJ

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Author
Okoya David

David Okoya is a crypto news reporter at DailyCoin based in Nigeria. He covers various topics related to the cryptocurrency industry, including exchanges, regulations, and price movements, and strives to bring fresh angles to breaking news. With experience as a freelance crypto news writer, David upholds the highest journalistic standards, telling complete stories and answering lingering questions whenever possible.