Australian Investment Group With Billions in AUM Starts Investing in Bitcoin Futures

A Pendal Group executive likened bitcoin to a "cockroach" with financial staying power.

AccessTimeIconNov 24, 2020 at 10:22 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:34 a.m. UTC

Pendal Group, an Australian Securities Exchange-listed investment manager with over A$100 billion (US$73.6 billion) in assets under management, is getting into bitcoin.

As reported by the Australian Financial Review on Monday, Vimal Gor, Pendal's head of bond, income and defensive strategies, said with the cryptocurrency "entering the realm of mainstream" the company is now investing in bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

"All the big hitters in the hedge fund world are coming out to endorse bitcoin," said Gor, alluding to Paul Tudor Jones II and Stan Druckenmiller, billionaires who've both this year disclosed owning some of the premier cryptocurrency by market cap.

While most large institutions have stayed away so far, client demand prompted the move, said Gor.

"We have been positioning in gold for our clients for many, many years now. Now we're doing it with bitcoin," he said.

Bitcoin's draw hinges on the fact that diminishing yields amid central banks' aggressive quantitative easing policies mean government bonds are losing their attraction among high-net-worth individuals. Bonds will eventually "turn into a dead asset class" as people turn to alternatives like gold and cryptocurrencies, according to Gor.

With the eventual digitization of the economy spurred by this year's global pandemic, the Pendal Group executive said the global financial system will simply "evolve," with cryptocurrency sticking around in the years to come.

"Bitcoin is a cockroach that exists. They [governments] can't ban it out of existence," he said.

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