Alan Howard, billionaire hedger fund manager, is among the backers of a new institutional-focused investment firm that's eyeing an as much as $1 billion allocation to bitcoin and ether by early next year.
According to a Bloomberg report, One River Asset Management CEO Eric Peters set up a new company to capture institutional interest in the two major cryptocurrencies. He told the publication that he'd bought "more than $600 million" in bitcoin and ether, a process that was completed in November.
Backing the One River Digital Asset Management is Alan Howard, a co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management.
Per the report:
"Howard is playing a number of supporting roles. In addition to investing in One River Digital’s funds, he’s also buying a stake in the business. A company he controls, Elwood Asset Management, is providing One River Digital with trading services, market analysis and technical support."
Northern Trust will serve as the fund's administrator and Coinbase as its initial trade execution and custody partner, per the report.
Notably, Ruffer LLP — the British investment manager that confirmed Wednesday it had obtained exposure to bitcoin worth north of $700 million — is also backing One River.
“Ruffer portfolios aim to preserve capital and deliver good all-weather returns, and they now have an allocation to bitcoin to help us meet that objective," a spokesperson for Ruffers told The Block in an email. “In November, Ruffer gained exposure to bitcoin via a specialist third-party manager. This was primarily a protective move for portfolios. It diversifies Ruffer portfolios' investments in gold and inflation-linked bonds, and it acts as a hedge to some of the risks that we see in a fragile monetary system and distorted financial markets.
It's not immediately clear the connection between this week's Ruffer announcement, its stated exposure allocation, and its backing of the One River firm. When reached for follow-up comment, the spokesperson declined to clarify whether Ruffer had purchased bitcoin or financial products tied to its price.
According to Peters, “[t]here is going to be a generational allocation to this new asset class."