“Like hedge funds in the early days”: Crypto specialist Aaro Capital taps into digital asset surge with trio of hires

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Cryptocurrency and digital asset specialist Aaro Capital is tapping into the growing investment opportunities in digital ledger technology and blockchain-related technologies with a trio of new hires.

Peter Rigg, a fund of hedge funds veteran of some 25 years, has joined Aaro’s advisory board. He was previously global head of HSBC’s Alternative Investment Group and CEO of HSBC Alternative Investments. Prior to that, Rigg was global head of hedge fund research for HSBC in New York between 2004 and 2007, having earlier been a portfolio manager of its fund of hedge fund range from 1999 to 2004.

Rigg, who consults to clients with over USD1 billion invested in alternative assets, is also a partner and board member of Swiss investment advisory firm Crossbow Partners AG.

Also joining the advisory board is Mattia Rattaggi, former head of regulatory affairs and governance reporting at UBS.

A senior risk, compliance, audit, regulatory, and governance specialist of some 25 years, Rattaggi is a founder and managing partner of METI Advisory AG, a co-founder of SEBA Bank AG, the first regulated universal crypto bank; a board member and digital advisor at the Crypto Valley Association, and an advisory board member of Thaler Real Estate Consulting AG.

In addition, Jameel Tawasin has been named global head of sales at Aaro. Tawasin was previously CEO of New Dynamic Ltd, and managing director at Revere Capital Advisors, and director of sales, south east Asia at Man Group.

The three will focus on the Aaro DLT Multifund, a fund of funds launched in May this year which invests in a range of different fund strategies including fundamental long-short, market neutral, quantitative arbitrage and trend-following.

The vehicle aims to capture the long-term growth of DLT and cryptoassets, and offers protection against the sector’s short-term volatility.

Commenting on his appointment, Peter Rigg said Aaro is well-placed to tap into the “exciting” opportunities in the crypto, blockchain and digital ledger space.

“Investors are looking for alternatives that offer high return potential plus diversification benefits,” he explained.

Rattaggi said it is “an exciting time” to be investing in DLT and cryptoassets, adding: “Aaro’s institutional quality approach is well positioned to take advantage of this fast evolving and uncorrelated new asset class.”

Tawasin said: “It is like hedge funds in the early days. We share Aaro’s belief that the best way to capture the exciting investment potential of DLT and cryptoassets is through a well-diversified and professionally managed fund of funds.”

Last year, some USD13 billion was invested in blockchain projects. There are now more than 500 active cryptoassets-focused funds, 160 of which manage more than USD50 million in assets.

Pointing to the growing opportunities in blockchain-related technologies, Aaro CEO Peter Habermacher said: “Our research showed that the best way to capture these opportunities is through a professionally run fund of funds. None seemed available, so we applied industry best practice to build our own process, with adaptations to suit the DLT/blockchain and cryptoasset space.”

CIO Ankush Jain added: “This is still a young industry whose development is comparable to the early years of the internet and there will be some big winners. Our aim is to identify and invest in these opportunities in a considered, prudent and risk-controlled manner.”