London-based hedge fund manager Marshall Wace is the latest institutional investment firm primed to make a foray into the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. Marshall Wace boasts nearly £40 billion ($55 billion) in assets under management and will look to profit from the fast-growing sector.
According to a report by the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the matter, Marshall Wace is looking to build a digital finance portfolio that will primarily consist of equity-based investments in companies within the crypto industry. Key areas that the fund will tap into include blockchain, crypto-based payments, and stablecoins.
The fund does not initially plan to directly hold cryptocurrencies or a position in derivatives crypto-related products. Instead, the focus seems to be on making late-stage investments into privately-owned crypto startups that could go public within a few years.
In May, Marshall Wace had participated in a £317 million ($440 million) funding round for stablecoin company, Circle, and it would seem logical to believe that other investments would follow a similar pattern. Based on the success of its earliest moves, Marshall Wace might expand the portfolio’s investments to other sectors and even potentially set up a crypto trading unit.
Amit Rajpal, chief executive of Marshall Wace Asia, will head the new fund, according to the report, while the hedge fund looks to ramp up a list of potential investors and the amount that would be allocated to the crypto portfolio.
Following the latest developments, Marshall Wace joins Jim Simons’ Renaissance Technologies, Brevan Howard, and Baillie Gifford as popular UK-based funds seeking to get exposure to cryptocurrencies and companies in the industry.
Earlier this year, Bitcourier reported that Baillie Gifford invested £72 million ($100 million) in the popular blockchain wallet and crypto exchange, Blockchain.com. The investment was part of a £215 million ($300 million) Series C funding for the Luxembourg-based startup.