Wave Financial, a US-based investment manager overseeing $1.5 billion, has acquired a stake in a Swiss crypto company as part of an expansion into the fast-growing European digital asset market.

Los Angeles-based Wave, which provides crypto products to institutional and retail clients, has bought a minority stake in Criptonite Asset Management — the first step in a planned large-scale acquisition of the Geneva-based company later this year. year.

The two companies already have an established relationship, having teamed up in 2021 when Criptonite launched several versions of Wave’s flagship digital asset funds in Europe, including its Bitcoin Income & Growth and NFT funds.

The funds were deployed as actively managed certificates — a type of structured product that tracks the performance of an index, but allows for an element of active management.

Matteo Dante Perruccio, international chairman of Wave Financial, says there has been “unprecedented demand” from institutional investors and other sophisticated investors for professionally managed digital asset funds in Europe. .

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“There seems to be a flight to quality, so it makes sense to take our relationship with Criptonite to the next level,” said Dante Perruccio, who between 2016 and 2019 was global head of key customers and strategic partners for the company. UK listed company. Jupiter group of funds.

“This acquisition is Wave Financial’s first outside of the United States, but will not be the last as we actively seek additional partners to bring our diverse set of funds and digital asset solutions to accredited investors around the world. .”

Despite the recent crypto rout, which wiped billions from the market, some asset managers are undeterred and have piled into digital assets.

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Schroders announced in July that, as part of its push into digital assets, it had acquired a minority stake in Forteus – the asset management arm of Swiss company Numeus Group.

Meanwhile, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, recently announced a tie-up with crypto exchange Coinbase – a move that BlackRock says would help some of its biggest clients trade bitcoin through its platform. Aladdin.

Elsewhere, Abrn announced in August that it had acquired a stake in digital stock exchange Archax, which offers institutional investors access to blockchain-based digital assets.

London-based Archax is the first-ever digital stock exchange regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and has brokerage, custody and crypto-asset licenses.

“This bear market is an opportunity for us to continue to grow and expand, both organically and by acquiring crypto asset managers,” said David Siemer, co-founder and managing director of Wave Financial.

“Wave is in talks with several asset managers, exchanges and lenders, as we seek to expand our presence in Europe and beyond.”

To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email David Ricketts