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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Bitwise Adds Institutional Heft With BlackRock/Commonfund Hire

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Martha Shear, former Black Rock and Commonfund exec, has joined San Francisco-based Bitwise Asset Management as managing director and head of business development. Shear will focus on building out the cryptocurrency index fund’s presence in the institutional market, the company announced Tuesday.

Bitwise created the first cryptocurrency index fund, the HOLD 10 Private Index Fund, last November. Shear, who was director of business development for the $25 billion Commonfund, and before that vice president for institutional iShares sales at BlackRock, the $6.3 trillion fund, brings strong institutional knowledge and contacts to Bitwise.

“Today’s institutions face significant challenges as they try to meet their return targets,” Shear said in a statement. “We believe that even a small and diversified exposure to cryptoassets … has the potential to help them meet their goals.” Shear joins a growing team of crossover executives who joined Bitwise recently, including Matt Hougan, former CEO; John Hyland, U.S. Commodity Funds chief investment officer, and former New York Life senior vice president Teddy Fusaro.

Last November, Bitwise launched its HOLD 10 Private Index Fund, which according to its website is made up of the top 10 cryptocurrencies weighted by 5-year diluted market cap and is rebalanced monthly. The company says assets are purchased from multiple liquidity providers, held in 100% cold storage and audited annually. A current snapshot of the index holdings are: 50.5% Bitcoin, 20.9% Ether (Ethereum), 10.5% Ripple, 7.6% Bitcoin Cash, 3.0% Litecoin, 2.7% Lumens (Stellar), 1.3% Dash, 1.2% NEO, 1.1% Zcash, 1.1% Monero.  According to the company, the fund has cumulatively outperformed a standalone allocation to Bitcoin by more than 17 percentage points since its launch on Nov. 22, 2017, through May 31.

— Check out Buffett, Gates Are Latest Bitcoin Critics on ThinkAdvisor.


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