Brevan Howard, a United Kingdom-based hedge fund, plans to “significantly expand” its cryptocurrency and digital assets, according to a new report from Reuters.
Chief Executive Aron Landy, who has been at Brevan’s helm since its co-founder and long-time crypto backer Alan Howard stepped down in 2019, has stated that the firm has a “commitment to rapidly expanding its platform and offerings in cryptocurrencies and digital assets.”
Brevan’s strategy going forward with crypto is two-pronged. The firm is launching a new business division, “BH Digital,” to manage its crypto and digital assets and has also hired CMT Digital Chief Executive Colleen Sullivan to lead private and venture investments in crypto.
Sullivan has led CMT Digital – a CMT Group division focused on crypto trading, blockchain investments, and legal/policy engagement in the industry – since late 2013. At Brevan, she would chair an investment committee dedicated to forging a new strategy focused on crypto technology. Landy has endorsed Sullivan’s “exceptional track record in making highly successful crypto venture investments,” adding that her appointment “will be of tremendous benefit to Brevan Howard clients.”
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Brevan’s crypto strategy under Landy suggests that Howard’s departure has done little to dampen the firm’s appetite for investing in the space. Under his leadership, the Brevan Howard Master Fund had announced it would allocate 1.5% to crypto this April, roughly $84 million.
Howard himself has numerous crypto investments under his belt, including in EOS developer Block.one and the ICE-owned digital assets platform Bakkt. This summer he led a $25 million extension raise for London-based crypto services firm Copper.co and also invested in Asian crypto investment platform Kikitrade. He also has a 25% stake with One River Digital Asset Management, a United States-based hedge fund that purchased $600 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in 2020.
European digital asset manager CoinShares announced it is acquiring the exchange-traded fund (ETF) index business from crypto firm Elwood Technologies for $17 million. The transaction is expected to be completed in the second week of July, according to the announcement.
Elwood — which is owned by billionaire hedge fund manager Alan Howard — is known for its partnership with Invesco to launch the Invesco Elwood Global Blockchain Equity UCITS ETF, or the Invesco Blockchain ETF in short. By providing exposure to internationally listed companies in the blockchain business, the index has amassed over $1 billion in assets since its inception in 2019.
The transaction will settle via an equity swap, according to the announcement. With a price of $13.09 per share, CoinShares will issue 1,298,322 new ordinary shares with a total worth close to $17 million.
As part of the acquisition, Elwood’s digital asset-focused equity research team will also join CoinShares. The purchase will not impact the Elwood Index and the Invesco Blockchain ETF, the announcement reads. The collaboration aims to bridge the gap between traditional asset management and crypto and provide better connectivity with global institutional players for both parties.
Highlighting the growing interest in thematic ETFs, CoinShares CEO Jean-Marie Mognetti described the Elwood Index and Invesco as “natural partners” for CoinShares.
Related: CoinShares lists physically backed crypto ETPs on German exchange
“We believe that blockchain technology and crypto assets will continue to evolve and play an increasingly significant, mainstream role across business, finance and society,” Invesco EMEA ETFs head Gary Buxton said. He added that the growth of the equity ETF is “a testament to the sector’s momentum and the compelling opportunities for investors.“
Elwood owner and crypto hedge fund titan Alan Howard is a major investor in CoinShares. Last month, he also made a fresh investment in London-based crypto services firm Copper.co and Asian crypto investment platform Kikitrade.