Meet our Leadership
Brock ArnasonFounder and Chief Executive Officer
Prior to founding Droit, Brock was an Executive Director of Fixed Income E-Commerce at Morgan Stanley. He was the global head of product for Matrix, Morgan Stanley’s client portal, and led SEF strategy and Dodd-Frank compliance programs across ISG. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Brock worked at UBS as a technology leader for credit and interest rate derivatives.
Brock holds a Master of Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Joceline ZhengChief Product Officer
Joceline Zheng leads Product Development for Droit. Joceline is responsible for strategic product direction and oversees Product Management, Product Operations, Knowledge Engineering, Regulatory Insight, and Research Engineering. Prior to joining Droit, she was a quant at UBS.
Joceline holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering with a minor in statistical physics from MIT, and has received her BSE, summa cum laude, from Princeton University.
Craig ButterworthChief Commercial Officer
Craig Butterworth serves as Droit’s Chief Commercial Officer driving Droit’s commercial efforts. Craig oversees our Strategic Client Acquisition, Account Management, Platform Solutions, and Partnerships teams. Prior to joining Droit, Craig was Global Head of Sales and Account Management at Symphony. Prior to Symphony, Craig worked for Nomura, RBC Capital Markets, State Street, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Goldman Sachs in a variety of Head of Sales, COO, and Digital Transformation roles.
Craig holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Warwick.
Peter BalsChief Technology Officer
Peter Bals is the Chief Technology Officer for Droit and is responsible for leading the firm’s technology strategy and innovation. Peter oversees all aspects of Software Development, DevOps, and Information Security. Previously, Peter started and managed his own Fintech company focusing on real-time data provenance. Prior, he served as Managing Director in various technology leadership roles including positions at Barclays, Bank of America, and TD Ameritrade.
Peter holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Kaiserslautern.
Basil Darwish is a Managing Director at Wells Fargo Strategic Capital and leads the group’s focus on Fintech and B2B Enterprise Software. Basil has been in the domain of venture investing for over a decade, across Silicon Valley, New York, and Southeast Asia. Prior to Wells Fargo, Basil was with Citi Ventures, focused on venture investments and innovation initiatives in the domains of Fintech, Big Data Analytics, and Information Security. Prior to moving into venture investing, Basil spent several years in the technology industry in various roles across the value chain.
Basil holds an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a double major in finance and entrepreneurial management, a Master of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University with a focus on semiconductor design, and a B.Sc. in EE from the University of Jordan.
Dinkar Jetley is a co-founder of Pivot Investment Partners, a B2B Fintech investment firm. Prior to Pivot, Dinkar was CEO of Worldwide Securities Services at JPMorgan Chase and a member of its Executive Committee. Earlier, Dinkar spent twelve years at Deutsche Bank running technology-enabled global businesses in wholesale banking.
Graduating with distinction, Dinkar earned his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Somerset is a managing director in Firmwide Strategy at Goldman Sachs, where he leads strategic investing and is head of the EMEA team within the group. He is a member of the Firmwide Strategic Investment Committee. Previously, Somerset held roles in the Global Markets Division, including serving as co-head of EMEA Principal Strategic Investments from 2015 to 2019 and head of EMEA Rates e-Business from 2009 to 2015. He joined Goldman Sachs in 2005 as an analyst in Foreign Exchange Operations and was named managing director in 2021.
Somerset earned a BA in Modern Languages from St Peter’s College, Oxford.
Robert Pickel is the Chair of P.R.I.M.E. Finance, The Hague-based Panel of International Market Experts in Finance, and a member of the board of Tradition SEF LLC, a CFTC-regulated swap execution facility. From 1997 to 2014, Bob served in several roles at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA), including Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice Chairman and General Counsel. Prior to joining ISDA, Bob was a lawyer at a global energy company and a major New York law firm, where he represented ISDA on a variety of matters.
Bob earned his J.D. from the New York University School of Law and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Williams College.
Akbar Poonawala is a co-founder of Pivot Investment Partners. Prior, Akbar was Managing Director and the Regional Head for the Americas of Deutsche Bank Global Transaction Banking. In addition, he built the Global Equity Services business.
Akbar is a Chartered Financial Analyst and graduated Beta Gamma Sigma with an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Akbar also holds an MBA in Marketing and an undergraduate degree in Advanced Accounting from Poona University in India.
John CooleyChief Financial Officer
John Cooley serves as Droit’s Chief Financial Officer, defining the financial strategy, assessing new opportunities, and executing the firm’s growth strategy. Prior to joining Droit, John was the CFO for AppDirect, a B2B commerce platform for selling, buying, and managing recurring technology services. Before this, he was the CFO for Dataminr, a leading real-time information discovery platform. Previously, John was co-founder and CFO of FXall, a leading trading platform for the foreign exchange market. John has also held significant roles in strategy and corporate development, and started his career in investment banking at J.P. Morgan.
John holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale College and an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Chris SmithClient Success Officer
Chris Smith is the Client Success Officer at Droit. Chris is responsible for managing the full client lifecycle from pre-sales, through integration and beyond. Previously Chris served as Head of Platform Solutions at Droit. Prior to joining the firm, he was a Manager within the Capital Markets division at Accenture.
Chris graduated from the University of Nottingham with a degree in Biology.