Former Citi Digital Asset Execs Launch Crypto-Focused Fund

Motus Capital features a trio of former Citi personnel who will employ growth and income-focused crypto investing.

AccessTimeIconApr 9, 2022 at 7:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Apr 11, 2022 at 2:37 p.m. UTC

Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

A trio of former Citi (C) executives formed a crypto-focused investment firm to help clients bet on digital assets.

Motus Capital Management is led by Alex Kriete, Greg Girasole and Frank Cavallo. Kriete and Girasole were previously co-heads of Citi’s digital assets group, while Cavallo was a director and investment counselor overseeing about $8 billion in assets for the bank.

“In order to merge our goal of building the solutions our clients were asking for with our expertise in the crypto space, we left traditional finance to create Motus,” the firm told CoinDesk.

Motus sees an opportunity in the growth segment of the market, where larger investment funds aren’t able to purchase smaller market cap tokens for liquidity purposes, while sub-$100 million funds may “lack the guardrails we want, and economically their main incentive is gathering assets,” Cavallo said.

“We’ve decided not to make trade-offs and instead align interests by putting enough skin in the game ourselves to incentivize both proper fiduciary controls and rightsizing the fund.” For Motus’ growth fund, Cavallo told CoinDesk he’d like it to be around $100 million in size, based on the current opportunity set identified.

For an income-focused strategy, Motus sees a “mismatch” between funding digital assets versus traditional finance. “Global banks have so much cash they pay zero or less for deposits. Meanwhile, the stablecoin market cap has quintupled since 2021, and investors still command high-single to double-digit returns for dollars or dollar-pegged assets.” Thus, an opportunity presents itself, Cavallo saodd.

Both the growth and income funds are limited to qualified purchasers.

Blockworks first reported Motus’ launch on Thursday, while Motus confirmed the $100 million figure reported by Bloomberg on Friday afternoon.

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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

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Michael Bellusci is CoinDesk's crypto payments reporter.

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