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A trio of former Citi executives have launched a specialized investment firm for crypto assets to tap into the growing digital assets space.
Three former co-heads of digital assets at Citi have launched a new investment management firm dedicated to crypto assets. The new company – Motus Capital – is the brainchild of Alex Kriete, Greg Girasole, and Frank Cavallo. The trio left Citi in the last few months after long tenures at the banking giant and multinational financial services corporation.
Details surrounding Motus Capital are still under wraps. However, Kriete suggested in a LinkedIn post that the initiative will leverage the trio’s prior wealth of combined experience in financial services. This carryover of expertise is expected to benefit and enhance the crypto sector. Kriete’s statement concluded by saying:
“We could not be more excited to help our investors navigate the challenges and opportunities this [crypto] market presents.”
Former Citi Co-heads to Channel Technical Investment Know-how into Motus Capital
Kriete and Girasole spent 11 and 7 years at Citi, respectively, serving as co-heads of the bank’s Global Wealth Digital Assets Group. Meanwhile, Cavallo, the third founder and managing partner of the new company, was an investment counselor at Citi Private Bank. He served in this capacity for the past 12 years according to his LinkedIn page. At Citi, Cavallo had oversight of over $8 billion for roughly 40 families, which constituted traditional, alternative, and direct investments.
Motus Capital Management will rely heavily on repeatable research and investment processes. The research will help the company deliver yield opportunities with a focus on risk management.
In a recent interview before unveiling the new company, Kriete had stated that “financial institutions have a hard time keeping pace in this market”. The investment banker then explained that “we’re excited to build something that caters to these people.”
In 2017 during their stint at Citi, Kriete and Girasole started writing an internal, crypto-focused newsletter. This initiative helped drive the duo’s visibility at the bank and establish them as in-house experts.
Buildup to the Establishment of a New Crypto Investment Scheme
Sometime last month, Kriete and Girasole revealed that they were departing Citi to set up their own crypto venture. However, the pair did not provide any additional details on the new company at the time. Instead, Kriete posted a statement to his LinkedIn page, which read in part:
“After 11 years at Citi, I have decided to take on a new challenge and will be leaving the firm. I am incredibly grateful for the personal and professional experiences gained, the lifelong relationships with friends and clients built, and the opportunities offered to help build new business lines.”
Furthermore, the investment banker hinted at the growth potential of the digital assets space and its increasing relevance to global capital markets. Kriete also expressed delight at being a part of the formation of these new business models and continued crypto market maturation.
Growing Citi Exodus
Kriete and Girasole’s departure contributes to a growing trend of talent outflow from Citi into the emerging crypto sector. For instance, Matt Zhang, Citi’s former global co-head of structured products trading, also earlier departed to launch a new company, Hivemind Capital Partners. The company turned out to be a $1.5 billion blockchain and digital assets fund.
So far, no fewer than 15 people have left Citi to strike out at numerous crypto-focused platforms and initiatives.