$2.2 Trillion Asset Manager Pimco Looking to Trade Cryptocurrencies, CIO Says

Pimco, an asset manager with $2.2 trillion under management, is looking to start trading cryptocurrencies. “We’re trading from a relative value perspective,” the firm’s chief investment officer said. Pimco’s clients include central banks, sovereign wealth funds, public and private pension funds, financial and non-financial corporations, foundations, and endowments.

Pimco Getting Into Crypto

Pimco’s chief investment officer, Daniel Ivascyn, told CNBC in an interview Wednesday that his company is looking to trade digital assets, noting that some of its hedge fund portfolios are already investing in crypto-linked securities.

Pimco, an asset management subsidiary of Allianz Group, is a global leader in fixed income, its website details. Pimco manages $2.2 trillion in assets as of June 30. Its clients include central banks, sovereign wealth funds, public and private pension funds, financial and non-financial corporations, foundations and endowments, financial advisors, family offices, and individual investors.

Ivascyn said:

Now we’re looking at potentially trading certain cryptocurrencies as part of our trend-following strategies or quant-oriented strategies, then doing more work on the fundamental side.

“This will be a gradual process where we spend a lot of time on the internal diligence side speaking to investors. And, we’ll take baby steps in an area that’s rapidly growing,” he added.

His comments came as the price of bitcoin hit all-time highs Wednesday following the launch of the first U.S. bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the NYSE.

Ivascyn also revealed that some of Pimco’s hedge fund portfolios are already trading crypto-linked securities. The CIO elaborated:

We’re trading from a relative value perspective. So, we’re not taking directional exposure, but we’re looking to take advantage of mispricings between the cash product, popular trust that trades on the exchange, and then the futures. So that was a starting point for us in a very narrow segment of our business.

He proceeded to comment on decentralized finance (defi). “You have to understand decentralized finance, because it will be disruptive, and it very well may disrupt our industry, in our business in particular,” he opined.

According to the executive, Pimco is “thinking about scenarios where this could take us to ensure that we are competitively prepared to deal with what’s a rapidly changing environment that offers a pretty significant value proposition, particularly for younger generations, or the new generation of the investment community.”

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