London hedge fund Winton hunts for crypto hire

Winton Group, the London hedge fund set up by billionaire quant investor David Harding, is on the hunt for specialist crypto expertise, in a hint it will join other heavyweight investors looking to gain a foothold in the fast-growing digital assets market.

The firm, which was founded by Harding in 2007, posted a job advert on LinkedIn in August for a crypto quant researcher to “support the development of our crypto systematic trading strategies”.

The successful candidate will sit within Winton’s investment management and research group, and be responsible for signal analysis and research in crypto markets, portfolio construction for trading strategies, as well as reporting and analysis, the advert said.

Winton, which according to reports oversaw $8bn in assets at the start of this year, declined to comment on the job posting when contacted by Financial News.

The firm’s search for dedicated crypto expertise comes amid rapid expansion into digital assets among hedge funds globally.

According to a PwC report published in June, more than a third of traditional hedge funds now invest in digital assets — almost double the figure a year ago.

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Of the traditional hedge funds PwC surveyed, 38% said they invest in digital assets, compared to 21% a year ago. Meanwhile, the number of specialist crypto hedge funds is estimated to now top 300 globally, with the number of new funds launched accelerating over the past two years.

PwC’s research suggested most traditional hedge funds are just dipping their toes into crypto, with 57% having less than 1% of their total assets invested in the area. However, 67% said they intend to deploy more capital into the asset class by the end of 2022.

Bitcoin was traded by 86% of hedge funds surveyed by PwC, with the next most popular cryptos listed as ether, solana and polkadot.

What about other hedge funds?

Other big-name hedge funds have been looking to make a foray into crypto.

Point72 — the US hedge fund set up by Steve Cohen — is on the lookout for at least two senior crypto professionals to expand its digital assets expertise, according to a report by Blockworks in July citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Brevan Howard has raised more than $1bn from institutional investors for its flagship digital assets-focused vehicle, according to reports.

Launched in September 2021, BH Digital has grown to more than 60 people, with its team supported by more than 20 external blockchain engineers, according to its website.

Despite a slump in the crypto market, the number of jobs in finance requiring knowledge of the sector continues to increase.

JPMorgan has 16 live job postings that require knowledge of blockchain or crypto. Citigroup has 11, while ratings agency Moody’s has 12, according to Indeed data.

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email David Ricketts

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