CLS appoints Gottfried Leibbrandt and Shuta Okawara to its board of directors

The foreign exchange settlement provider CLS Group has appointed two new members to its Board of Directors at its annual general meeting on 17 May 2021.

The two new appointments are of Gottfried Leibbrandt (Independent Director) and Shuta Okawara (MUFG Bank).

Gottfried Leibbrandt has previously served as Chief Executive Officer of SWIFT between 2012 and 2019. Before that he held several positions at SWIFT, such as Head of Marketing, Head of Standards and Director of Strategy and Business Development. Prior to this, Leibbrandt was a partner with McKinsey & Company, with focus on financial institutions, specifically payments and transactions. He is also a member of the supervisory board of and the co-author of an upcoming book on payments (“The Pay Off: how changing the way we pay changes everything”), set to be published 1 July 2021.


Currently, Shuta Okawara works as Managing Director and Head of the Transactions Services Division of MUFG Bank. His career has been mainly focused on extensively around custody and clearing. Okawara has been engaged with most settlement systems reform initiatives that have led to mitigating settlement risks and standardizing securities and currencies settlement processes as we now know them.

Ken Harvey, Chairman of the Board at CLS, said:

Ken Harvey, CLS

Ken Harvey

We are delighted to welcome Gottfried and Shuta to our Board. Their specific experience in and knowledge of payments, transactions and settlement systems relate closely to CLS’s core focus and will be invaluable to us as an organisation as well as our members and other relevant stakeholders. We look forward to working with them as we continue to develop our role as a systemically important financial market infrastructure, strengthening resilience and efficiency across the global FX ecosystem.

Leibbrandt and Okawara will join the Technology and Operations Committee, while Leibbrandt will also be part of the Product Development Committee. The CLS Board now is made up of 21 directors, nine of whom are designated as outside or independent directors.

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