Former HSBC, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch Asia Execs Start $50M Crypto Fund

Liquibit Capital is also said to be managed by a former Barclays Capital vice president and two current JPMorgan and Wells Fargo technicians.

Sep 21, 2020 at 2:47 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:58 a.m. UTC

Banking veterans who have steered divisions at HSBC, Citigroup and Merrill Lynch in the Asia-Pacific region are ditching traditional finance to invest in cryptocurrencies.

  • People familiar with the matter told CoinDesk that Joseph Chang, head of equities trading and prime finance at Merrill Lynch, HSBC and Citigroup Asia-Pacific from 1997 to 2016, and Grahame Webb, head of technology from 2013 to 2018 for HSBC and Citigroup Asia-Pacific prime finance and securities services, have been trading cryptocurrencies since June through a new Hong Kong-based fund, Liquibit Capital.
  • Liquibit Capital, also managed by a former Barclays Capital vice president and two current JPMorgan and Wells Fargo technicians, will manage assets worth $50 million, the people said.
  • Liquibit is said to arbitrage a portfolio of bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin and eos, custodied with Fireblocks.
  • It is expected to expand to trading derivatives, options and futures on BitMEX, Huobi, OKEx and Deribit – cryptocurrency exchanges with a largely Asia-based presence.
  • Chang, now Liquibit Capital's chief investment officer, said regulatory bloat and a surplus of middlemen while trading at investment banks convinced him and his partners to switch to cryptocurrency markets.
  • Webb, chief technology and operating officer at Liquibit Capital, has also previously structured custody and clearing architecture for securities flowing between wealth managers.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.