About

Based in San Francisco, River Financial is a firm dedicated to helping people invest in Bitcoin. We provide our users with premium customer service and access to cutting edge Bitcoin features, like the Lightning Network.

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Team

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Alexander Leishman

Founder & Chief Executive Officer

About Alexander Leishman

Alexander Leishman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer at River Financial. Mr. Leishman brings his deep expertise in software engineering, information security, and Bitcoin to River where he leads product development and engineering. Prior to founding River Financial, Alexander most recently served on the investment and engineering teams at Polychain Capital and Polychain Labs focusing on Bitcoin-related venture investments. Mr. Leishman has previously served as an engineer at Airbnb’s security team, a management consultant for Deloitte, and first got deeply involved in the Bitcoin industry as an early engineer at Maicoin, Taiwan’s largest digital asset exchange. Mr. Leishman holds a degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master's in Computer Science from Stanford University where he helped teach the first Bitcoin class under Professor Dan Boneh.

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Andrew Benson

Founder & Chief Operating Officer

About Andrew Benson

Andrew Benson is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at River Financial. In this role, Mr. Benson brings his expertise in management, information security, and risk management to River where he oversees business development and daily operations. Prior to co-founding River Financial, Andrew was most recently a Partner at Aurora Information Management, a cyber security consulting firm specializing in cyber program strategy for high-risk industries such as healthcare and financial services. He brings with him over 9 years of experience running a software development firm which specialized in building enterprise applications for financial institutions and insurance companies. Previously, he exited a data management company which grew to serve a global customer base. Mr. Benson has completed graduate course work at Stanford University in cyber security and international security and holds a degree in Management Information Systems from The Ohio State University.

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Jonathan Wilkins

Chief Security Officer

About Jonathan Wilkins

Jonathan Wilkins is the Chief Security Officer at River Financial. Mr. Wilkins brings 18 years of experience in the information security industry to River where he oversees security strategy, infrastructure, and DevOps. Prior to joining the River team, Jonathan most recently co-founded and served as the former Chief Security Officer of Blockstream, the global leader in blockchain technology. Mr. Wilkins has previously served at dozens of Fortune 500 companies such as Microsoft, MySpace, and Yelp to secure their systems. Mr. Wilkins also released the first password cracker for Windows NT while working on first generation network vulnerability scanners. Mr. Wilkins holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Saskatchewan.

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Zev Mintz

Director of Institutional Strategy

About Zev Mintz

Zev Mintz is the Director of Institutional Strategy at River Financial. Prior to joining River, Mr. Mintz served as an Investment Advisor at UBS Financial Services Inc., where he designed and managed complex investment strategies for corporate executives, non-profit corporations, and business owners. Previously, Zev worked at Travelers Insurance and participated in the Operations Leadership Development Program. While at Travelers he created and implemented pricing models to improve profitability for Travelers flagship products. Mr. Mintz holds a degree in Finance from The Ohio State University.

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Maria Okeke

Director of Finance

About Maria Okeke

Maria Okeke is the Director of Finance at River Financial where she oversees internal accounting, financial controls, and financing strategy. Ms. Okeke is a licensed CPA with accounting experience in the financial services space. Prior to joining River, Maria served as an Assistant Vice President at Grosvenor Capital Management, a fund complex with over $500 million in assets under management. Previously, Maria served as a Senior Audit Associate at Ernst & Young where she performed financial statement audits for hedge funds, private equity funds, and investment advisors. Ms. Okeke holds a Master’s and Bachelor’s in Accountancy from the University of Notre Dame.

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Andrew Yang

Director of Marketing

About Andrew Yang

Andrew Yang is the Director of Marketing & Partnerships at River Financial where he oversees marketing initiatives, product user interviews, and affiliate marketing. Mr. Yang was previously the Co-Founder and COO of BlockFuse, a company that provided an open-source platform for Bitcoin and the Lightning Network. Additionally, Andrew co-hosted the Bolt-A-Thon, the world’s first online Bitcoin Lightning Network hackathon and conference. Andrew has also previously built and managed a community around protecting digital identities and helped acquire one million profiles. Mr. Yang holds a degree in Literature and Writing from the University of California, San Diego.

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Philip Glazman

Software Engineer

About Philip Glazman

Philip Glazman is a Software Engineer at River Financial where he leads the Bitcoin infrastructure development. Prior to joining the River team, Mr. Glazman gained extensive Bitcoin knowledge as a Core Developer at Bitmain Technologies in Amsterdam where he focused on wallet development. Philip also helped build databases and an internal account management system for a data-driven marketing platform. Mr. Glazman holds a degree in Computer Science from Ramapo College of New Jersey.

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Kafai Choi

Software Engineer

About Kafai Choi

Kafai Choi is a Software Engineer at River Financial where he leads backend and financial engineering. Mr. Choi brings his expertise in building distributed, fault-tolerant applications to River to support the web application. Prior to joining the River team, Kafai served as a Fullstack Developer at YBEX, a financial services company building a marketplace for foreign currency exchange. Mr. Choi holds a degree in Statistics from The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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João Mesquita

Software Engineer

About João Mesquita

João Mesquita is a Software Engineer at River Financial where he leads the front end web development with a focus on user experience. Previously, Mr. Mesquita Co-Founded Koala Studio where he pioneered user-friendly web applications and games built for Bitcoin’s Lightning Network. Additionally, João brings over a decade's worth of experience in full stack, mobile and hardware development, building flagship products at companies such as TokenSoft, Trainline and Paxton Access. Mr. Mesquita holds a degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the University of Sussex.

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Sampei Omichi

Software Engineer

About Sampei Omichi

Sampei Omichi is an Operations Analyst at River Financial where he focuses on operational scalability, customer service, and process improvement. Mr. Omichi has a background in venture capital, having served as an Analyst on Digital Garage Lab Fund's Blockchain Team where he worked on conducting due diligence on potential investments. Mr. Omichi is currently pursuing a Bachelor's in Business Administration at Babson College.

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Emmy Almaraz

Software Engineer

About Emmy Almaraz

Emily Almaraz is a Software Engineer at River Financial working on the web development team. Previously, Ms. Almaraz served as a software developer at sfApex helping enterprise software companies secure and back up their data. Ms. Almaraz also has a background in the art world, having studied art history at The University of Texas at Austin and interned at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and Sotheby's in NYC.

Advisors

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Elizabeth Stark

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Lightning Labs

About Elizabeth Stark

Elizabeth Stark is an Advisor to River Financial. Ms. Stark is currently the CEO and Co-Founder of Lightning Labs, a company that maintains one of the three main open-source Lightning Network implementations for Bitcoin. Elizabeth also is a fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organization. Ms. Stark holds J.D. from Harvard Law School.

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Steve Lee

Product Manager, Square Crypto

About Steve Lee

Steve Lee is an Advisor to River Financial. Most recently, Mr. Lee serves as the Product Manager at Square Crypto, an open-source Bitcoin initiative focused on user experience. Steve also currently serves as the Product Manager for Bitcoin Optech where he works with companies using Bitcoin’s blockchain space efficiently. He is an active angel investor in companies such as Lyft, Halo Neuroscience, and Parsable.

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James Page

Product Manager, Pinterest

About James Page

James Page is an Advisor to River Financial. Mr. Page brings his experience as a growth expert in the digital advertising space having managed million dollar digital ad campaigns which positioned companies for growth in the financial services space. James currently serves as a Product Manager at Pinterest Advertising and has previously served as a Product Analyst at Facebook.