Alexandre Kech, the new CEO of the non-profit Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF), begins in his role today after joining as CEO-elect in May.

In his role he will be responsible for increasing adoption of the legal entity identifier (LEI) and the newer verifiable LEI (vLEI). LEIs are unique, electronic fingerprints companies can use to demonstrate their identity and ownership, established in response to the 2008/09 financial crash to improve transaction transparency, but take-up amongst businesses has been slow.

Kech replaces Stephan Wolf, who served as GLEIF’s CEO since its inception in 2014, and recently stepped down from the position.

Kech joined GLEIF from SDX, a digital stock exchange, where he was head of digital securities for a year and a half. Prior to that he worked in the digital assets space at Citi Ventures, Onchain Custodian and Swift. He is also the convener of an ISO working group that produced the Digital Token Identifier.

He will divide his time between the organisation’s Frankfurt office and Switzerland, where GLEIF is headquartered.

At the time of his appointment as CEO-elect, Dessa Glasser, Chair of the GLEIF board of directors, said Kech “brings a wealth of experience, leadership acumen, and an outstanding track record that makes him the ideal candidate to both ensure GLEIF’s continued success and drive its growth in the digital space.

“Alexandre’s mission is clear: enable GLEIF to realise its full potential and create sustainable value for the whole Global LEI System, including partners, employees, and LEI stakeholders everywhere.”

Kech said of his appointment at the time that “the potential of the LEI to enhance private and public sector efficiencies, strengthen regulatory oversight, and expand economic inclusion increases exponentially with the integration of digital technologies.

“I am honoured to join the GLEIF team and lead us through this next phase of adoption, innovation, and growth. I am firmly committed to GLEIF’s close collaboration with the Regulatory Oversight Committee, together with our global network of LEI issuers and other Global LEI System partners and look forward to enhancing both the reach and the impact of the LEI and vLEI.”

GLEIF recently published a report alongside the International Chamber of Commerce UK and the World Trade Board that argues for greater adoption of LEIs. It claims a wider uptake could cut trade costs by US$100bn and boost access to financing for smaller companies.