Crypto hedge fund Ikigai makes new exec hires

Ikigai Asset Management, a long/short multi-strategy crypto-asset hedge fund launched by former Point72 Portfolio Manager, Travis Kling, has added three new executive hires to its team.

Christina Martin, of Plutos Capital Group, has joined as Partner. Daniel Heller of BitLumens and Oliver Zahn of Google have joined as Advisors.
 
“We’ve seen significant traction with sophisticated investors on what we’re building at Ikigai and have an imminent need to continue to build out our deep bench of experts,” says Ikigai Co-Founder and CIO, Kling. “We’re thrilled to add seasoned industry veterans with diverse backgrounds to the Ikigai team.”
 
Joining Ikigai as Advisor, Heller currently serves as the CFO of BitLumens, a decentralised, blockchain-based micro power-grid that distributes solar power devices in areas without a power-grid and connects them to the blockchain. For the prior two decades, Heller was the Director of Financial Stability and Oversight at Swiss National Bank. Heller also served as Executive Director at the IMF. Heller received his PhD in Economics from the University of Bern.
 
Heller says: “I’ve focused on the impact of blockchain technology in the financial sector for the last several years of my career and have seen first-hand the need for creation of, and access to, a more sophisticated digital currency investment vehicle.”
 
Also joining Ikigai’s Advisory team, Zahn is currently Head of Data Science at Google. Previously, Zahn was Chief Data Scientist at Impossible Foods where he spearheaded data science efforts to create the Impossible Burger. Prior to that, Zahn was the Executive Director of UC Berkeley’s Cosmology department, where he worked alongside two recent Nobel laureates and employed data science techniques to first discover Gravitational Lensing. Zahn’s doctoral work at Harvard University was in Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics.
 
Zahn says: “I look forward to helping Ikigai architect and implement a world-class data science environment to drive thoughtful investment in a technology that is making the world a better place.”
 
Joining Ikigai as Partner, Martin is leading Institutional Investor Relations. Her deep capital markets experience prior to Ikigai includes: Director of Plutos Capital investment bank, EVP of Institutional FX Trading at Odeon Capital, CEO of Backstage Artist Lounge Touring, VP of STW Fixed Income Management, Associate in Structured Products at Charles Schwab, VP of McCormack Advisors statistical arbitrage hedge fund, and elected Trustee of the University of Colorado’s USD1 billion Foundation & Endowment, allocating significantly to alternative assets.
 
Martin says: “There is a clear need in the marketplace for institutional investors to have a trusted, experienced, sophisticated fiduciary through which to gain exposure to this new asset class. Ikigai stands ready as that solution.”
 
Martin joins Timothy Lewis, Anthony Emtman and Travis Kling on the Executive Leadership team at Ikigai.