The recent market upheavals did not seem to dampen institutional investor interest in the cryptocurrency industry. With the anticipated spike in demand for crypto assets, crypto firms have been busy lately in gearing up their operations for their growing list of institutional clientele. This includes Voyager, the crypto trading platform co-created by Stephen Ehrlich, an ex-CEO of E*TRADE Professional Trading LLC, with its recent announcement on the creation of a new institutional crypto brokerage.
Voyager Prepares for Growing Demand From Institutional Clients
Voyager Digital Holdings Inc. announced that it has created a subsidiary called Voyager Institutional, a newly formed business line that will offer what it calls the “best-in-class crypto trading solution” tailor-fit for institutional clients such as hedge funds, traditional buy-side firms, brokerages, as well as other professional investors, according to Business Wire. The new company is expected to start its operations by the fourth quarter of 2018.
Stephen Ehrlich, Voyager co-founder, revealed that the establishment of the new institutional-focused business line is their company’s response to the increasing institutional demand. Apparently, they have been approached by various institutional clients that are eager to participate in the investment and trading of this new asset class.
“Expanding our offering and leveraging our infrastructure to include the institutional community was always a part of our long-term strategic roadmap. Based on the sheer number of conversations since we announced our retail offering, it’s clear that there is a void in the marketplace and an immediate desire by institutions to participate in and offer their clients access to this emerging asset class…”
Glenn Barber as Chief Institutional Officer
Voyager named Glenn Barber as Voyager Institutional’s chief institutional officer, who will be tasked with the new business’s brand awareness campaign and cultivating relationships throughout the institutional community. Barber is deemed well suited to this position, considering his exposure to institutional markets during his previous stints as the managing director at both Deutsche Bank Securities and Barclays Investment Bank and as a vice president of the investment firm Lehman Brothers.
Speaking on Barber’s CIO position at Voyager Institutional, Ehrlich explained:
“Glenn’s capital markets acumen and deep industry relationships are exactly what we need to create optimal solutions for this critical universe of investors. He is an accomplished relationship manager and business-builder who has a proven track record of harnessing technology to improve the client experience and bottom line.”
It is still unknown when the market, which has fallen by around 70 percent since the year started, will exit this prolonged bearish territory. However, the downturn has not fazed institutional investors as interest to enter into the crypto space remains high. In fact, various crypto firms have already initiated preparations for increasing competition in the segment such as Bittrex launching an international division to better manage its businesses outside the US. Another example is Coinbase’s hiring of Jeff Horowitz as its chief compliance officer and its fee reduction scheme to entice institutional clients.