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  • Institutional investors stay cautious on crypto, as hedge funds ride bitcoin volatility
    by hugh.leask on September 24, 2021 at 9:58 am

    Institutional investors stay cautious on crypto, as hedge funds ride bitcoin volatility Submitted 24/09/2021 - 10:58am As hedge funds continue to ride out cryptocurrencies’ volatility, new industry research suggests larger institutional investors remain reluctant to pile into digital assets in any meaningful sense, despite the strong returns generated by managers this year. Alternatives-focused software-as-a-service and data management firm Vidrio Financial surveyed global allocators and LPs - collectively representing more than USD100 billion in alternatives assets under management in the US and Europe - on their crypto investment plans. The latest monthly ‘Vidrio Views’ survey found that 50 per cent of those quizzed reported zero exposure to any crypto currency or crypto-related currency investments. A further 33 per cent said they had no current exposure but were considering it as an investment option. Just 17 per cent had between 6-10 per cent exposure in their portfolios. Cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund managers have generated a remarkable 254 per cent return year-to-date, according to Hedge Fund Research data. HFR’s Cryptocurrency Index - which tracks the performance of a pool of hedge funds trading bitcoin or other digital currencies long and short across a range of strategies including arbitrage, event driven and momentum – scored a near-27 per cent return in August, its fifth double-digit monthly return so far in 2021. But despite growing interest around crypto-related assets and digital coins, Vidrio said further adoption ultimately hinges on investors “becoming more comfortable and educated about the risks and structure” of crypto’s investment opportunities. “While the craze of interest for crypto currencies and crypto related investment offerings persists to date, there are no meaningful examples of large institutional investors embracing this new asset class,” Mazen Jabban, Founder and CEO, Vidrio Financial, and Gygmy Gonnot, Managing Director and Head of Research, Vidrio Financial, said in their monthly commentary. The survey – which included asset managers and insurers, outsourced chief investment officers (OCIOs), and family offices and investment consultants – also explored allocators’ future plans for crypto allocations, with the responses suggesting opinion remains splintered. Some 17 per cent of investors surveyed intend to make allocations to cryptocurrencies “directly and equally”, while another 17 per cent believes currencies themselves are too volatile, but are mulling investments in crypto-related companies and infrastructure. One-third of those polled – 33 per cent - remain in ‘wait-and-see’ mode for the next 12 months, and another 33 per cent said crypto and crypto-related assets are “too volatile and not an appropriate fit” for their current allocation models. The findings also show many institutional investors continue to lean heavily on their risk teams ahead of any allocation to crypto assets.  Quizzed on cryptos’ risk relative to other assets, some 50 per cent of respondents said the risk is too high for their portfolios, while 33 per cent are not overly concerned but are working closely with risk teams to determine the potential risks. Meanwhile, 17 per cent are not concerned, adding crypto and crypto-related assets are in line with the risk levels they have for other asset classes. The findings come as bitcoin saw a fresh round of volatility this week. The world’s foremost cryptocurrency fell sharply on Monday, dipping below USD45,000 amid a broader sell-off of digital currencies, before rising on the back of a statement by Twitter outlining plans to add bitcoin payments to its Tips feature. Meanwhile, hedge funds are continuing to build out their crypto capabilities. Brevan Howard Asset Management, the high-profile global macro hedge fund giant founded by Alan Howard, is significantly ramping up its presence in this sector with the launch of BH Digital, a new division to manage cryptocurrency and digital assets. Earlier this month the firm appointed Colleen Sullivan, CEO and co-founder of CMT Digital, to lead its private and venture investment activities in crypto. In May, the Brevan Howard Master Fund said it would start allocating to cryptocurrencies. Elsewhere, London-based Nickel Digital Asset Management, headed by ex-Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan portfolio manager Anatoly Crachilov, has seen its assets soar some 260 per cent this year to more than USD250 million.  The firm has generated gains across its range of cryptocurrency-focused strategies, with its flagship systematic market-neutral Digital Asset Arbitrage Fund in double-digit territory year-to-date. Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter Author Profile Hugh Leask Employee title Editor, Hedgeweek Twitter Linkedin Related Topics Investments Digital Assets Bitcoin Investing in Hedge Funds

  • Broadridge appoints Global Product Manager for Derivatives Clearing
    by fiona.mcnally on September 24, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Broadridge appoints Global Product Manager for Derivatives Clearing Submitted 24/09/2021 - 9:42am Broadridge has hired Mike Johnson as Vice President, Global Product Manager of Derivatives Clearing. In his new role, Johnson will be responsible for the continual enhancement, growth and quality of Broadridge’s leading global cleared derivatives platform, and leveraging strategic client and industry partnerships. He will also be responsible for ensuring clients receive first class service and the support of its deeply knowledgeable market experts.   Johnson brings with him over 30 years of experience in financial services from Bank of America, including 15 years of experience in the exchange-traded derivative space and more than 10 years of experience in repo trading. During this time, Mike has become a champion of the front to back ownership model, driving the architecture of technology and operations infrastructure and providing solutions from trading and risk systems to post-trade books and records functionality.    Johnson was also the Global Head of Collateral Management and Business Development for Bank of America. He provided leadership and frameworks with strong governance processes, driving scalable client solutions, and consistently achieving strong financial results.   “We are very excited to be welcoming Mike to Broadridge,” says Danny Green, GM of Post-trade Solutions, Broadridge International. “His extensive experience and knowledge of the cleared derivatives space will enable us to continue delivering Broadridge’s industry leading solutions along with customer service of the highest standard.” Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter Author Profile Related Topics Moves & Appointments

  • South Street Securities Holdings adds to board of directors
    by fiona.mcnally on September 24, 2021 at 8:41 am

    South Street Securities Holdings adds to board of directors Submitted 24/09/2021 - 9:41am South Street Securities Holdings has appointed Joseph Flynn to the company's Board of Directors. "Allianz has successfully partnered with South Street for many years and I expect many more good things to come, considering the successful track record, outstanding reputation and experienced management team," says Flynn, who joined South Street Securities as a Board member in 2021. He has been an executive at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty's Alternative Risk Transfer line of business (Allianz) since 1998. At Allianz, Flynn is responsible for Operations, Claims and Deal Management globally. He has a wealth of experience in all facets of structured risk transactions both in insurance and financial product form, as well as finance and accounting. Flynn has been involved with South Street for more than 15 years when Allianz became a South Street shareholder and has helped the firm with structured debt solutions. Prior to joining Allianz, he worked as an accountant at Cap MAC, AIG and Scor. Flynn holds a master's degree in accounting from Binghamton University. Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter Author Profile Related Topics Moves & Appointments

  • BTIG Fixed Income Credit adds two MDs to team
    by fiona.mcnally on September 24, 2021 at 8:31 am

    BTIG Fixed Income Credit adds two MDs to team Submitted 24/09/2021 - 9:31am BTIG has added Peter Mullahey and Robert Williams to the firm’s Fixed Income Credit unit as Managing Directors and senior investment grade sales and trading specialists.  BTIG continues to expand its Fixed Income Credit platform, and now employs more than 40 experienced credit professionals in the US and London. BTIG’s Investment Grade professionals specialise in secondary trading for the firm’s global client base. Mullahey will focus on investment grade sales and business development, while Williams will serve in a hybrid investment grade sales and trading role. They join Richard Roche, a Managing Director within BTIG’s Fixed Income Credit division, who the firm hired earlier this year to build out the investment grade product offering. In their new roles with the firm, Mr. Mullahey and Mr. Williams will report into Darren Haines and Michael Carley, Sr, Co-Heads of Fixed Income Credit, at BTIG. “We are pleased to welcome Peter and Robert to BTIG,” says Anton LeRoy, President of BTIG. “They are accomplished professionals with demonstrated expertise across sectors and maturities within the investment grade space. Peter and Robert are part of our continued investment in our credit sales and trading team, and we are confident that they will make an immediate impact on our ability to service clients and deliver valuable market commentary.” Mullahey has more than 25 years of sell-side and buy-side industry experience across trading, as well as portfolio and product management. Prior to BTIG, he was Managing Director within Institutional Fixed Income at Seaport Global Holdings. Previously, Mullahey was a Senior Vice President within Investment Product Development at Imperial Capital and a Vice President and Investment Manager within Principal Trading at JPMorgan Chase. Earlier in his career, he was Head of North America Corporate Bonds and a Senior Portfolio Manager at GIC Asset Management. Williams has nearly 25 years of investment grade corporate bond trading, distribution and debt capital markets experience. Prior to BTIG, he was a Senior Vice President within Credit Trading at FHN Financial. Previously, Williams was an Executive Director within Investment Grade Credit Trading at Nomura Securities, and a Director within Investment Grade Credit Trading at RBC Capital Markets. Earlier in his career, he was a Director and Senior Vice President within Investment Grade Credit Trading at RBS Securities, and an Executive Director within Investment Grade Corporate Bond Trading, specialising in financials at Mizuho Securities USA. Williams was also a Managing Director within Investment Grade Credit Trading at Bear Stearns and a Vice President within Investment Grade Credit Sales at HSBC Securities. “Peter and Robert are excellent additions to our Investment Grade unit,” says Carley, Sr. “They both understand the market and are seasoned professionals with records of success for supporting the needs of clients. Following the momentum of the last year, largely driven by the expansion of our platform across sales, trading, sourcing and strategy, we believe they will be vital to our continued growth.” Like this article? Sign up to our free newsletter Author Profile Related Topics Moves & Appointments

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