Credit Suisse trader quits to launch $30m crypto hedge fund

A former Credit Suisse FX trader has quit banking and raised $30m to launch a cryptocurrency hedge fund in Amsterdam.

Petro Levchenko, who spent 10 years as an FX trader at the London headquarters of Credit Suisse, BNP Paribas and Royal Bank of Scotland, has become the latest person to swap large City institutions for the burgeoning cryptocurrency markets.

Levchenko is a founding partner and chief investment officer at Megalodon Capital Management, a newly-launched crypto hedge fund with $30m in assets under management — primarily gathered from high net worth individuals.

The firm will also consult on blockchain-related projects and provide transaction services through its MegaX Advisory and MegaX Services business lines, according to sources close to the firm.

Levchenko joins the growing ranks of individuals leaving established City firms to join the cryptocurrency craze, even as institutional investors continue to shun the asset class.

Large hedge funds, asset managers and pension schemes are reluctant to invest in cryptocurrencies because the sector is still largely unregulated, has no clear rules about what institutional data needs to be reported and lacks the necessary infrastructure to deal with trades, according to a report released on Thursday by Tabb Group.

Despite this, financiers are still quitting the mainstream to move into crypto. This month, former BlackRock employees Nassim Olive, Asim Ahmad and Mattia Mrvosevic left to start blockchain venture capital fund Eterna Capital. They follow Adam Grimsley and Michael Wong, who left the world’s largest asset manager to start crypto hedge fund Prime Factor Capital in January.

Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Mike Novogratz is also launching a crypto merchant bank called Galaxy Digital, while John Piotrowski, a former vice president at the US banking giant, joined crypto-exchange Ocean X. 

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