BlackRock Staffers Depart to Start Blockchain Investment Fund

Wall Street and the City are seeing a steady drumbeat of departures for blockchain and cryptocurrency ventures.

AccessTimeIconMay 2, 2018 at 8:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:54 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

The steady drumbeat of departures from traditional finance to the blockchain industry continues.

On Wednesday, Financial News reported that three members of BlackRock's institutional clients team in London have jumped ship in order to launch their own fund, Eterna Capital. The fund will focus exclusively on blockchain-based solutions and derive its inspiration from the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Eterna aims to raise €20 million and will be led by Andrea Bonaceto, who founded HiredGrad in 2014 after earning a finance degree at Imperial College London. The other three founding partners all come from BlackRock: Nassim Olive will serve as chief economist and COO, Asim Ahmad as head of portfolio management, and Mattia Mrvosevic as head of research.

Ahmad explained the decision to leave BlackRock and start a blockchain-focused fund in an interview on Skype, telling CoinDesk:

"BlackRock, they pay well, it's a great place to learn … [but] the opportunity is just too big to miss."

That kind of thinking appears to be gaining traction on Wall Street and in the City of London, where people are leaving traditional finance to join or launch ventures focused on cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology. April saw a Goldman Sachs executive leave to join the wallet and data provider Blockchain, as well as Lewis Ranieri – who pioneered the sale of mortgage-backed securities at Salomon Brothers – partner with the blockchain startup Symbiont.

Other notable ex-Wall Streeters focusing on blockchain technology include Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan Chase exec who founded Digital Asset Holdings.

Unlike the veterans named above, Eterna Capital's founders were at relatively early stages in their careers in finance. Asked why he left BlackRock, Asim mentioned the ability "to shape the industry."

And despite the risk involved in leaving, he said, "those kinds of opportunities make someone who's in the institutional world think."

Grass is greener image via Shutterstock.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.