Anchorage and Eaglebrook link up in bid to boost crypto SMA access

The partnership allows Franklin Templeton, Ark Invest and others to launch their SMA strategies on Anchorage Digital

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Anchorage Digital has linked up with crypto SMA platform Eaglebrook Advisors to allow wealth managers easier access to an investment vehicle some expect to take off. 

Financial advisers use the Eaglebrook platform to allocate to various crypto strategies. Now, this partnership gives those professionals regulated access to crypto via Anchorage — a bank chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC).

Anchorage meets the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s definition of a “qualified custodian,” the companies said Wednesday — a term floated in a February proposal by the regulator that would “entrust safekeeping of client assets” to such entities. 

“After the recent SEC custody proposal, it is more important than ever for [registered investment advisers] to safeguard digital assets with a qualified custodian,” Anchorage Digital CEO Nathan McCauley said in a statement.

Eaglebrook is no stranger to partnerships. 

Fund giant Franklin Templeton made a strategic investment in Eaglebrook in April 2022 before launching its first crypto SMAs — available to advisers and wealth managers via Eaglebrook’s platform — that September. Ark Invest then joined forces with Eaglebrook in October 2022 for the debut of its crypto SMAs.

The latest partnership comes as various crypto and traditional finance firms are exploring the introduction of spot crypto ETFs as an alternative to separately managed accounts (SMAs).

Unlike such ETFs though, crypto SMAs offer exposure to a range of assets that clients can own directly. Certain accounts may also allow investors to engage in tax-loss harvesting.

Though crypto SMAs have come to the US market in the absence of these ETFs, some believe a bitcoin ETF would boost SMA demand.

Read more: Eaglebrook CEO: Bitcoin ETF would send crypto SMAs ‘into hyperdrive’

Asset managers on Eaglebrook’s platform — including Franklin Templeton and Ark, as well as Bitwise and Global X, and ARK Invest — will be able to launch their SMA strategies on Anchorage Digital.

Those four firms are among the companies with spot bitcoin ETF proposals currently in front of the SEC. An August court win by Grayscale Investments over the regulator made such an approval more likely, some segment observers believe.  

The SEC is slated to rule on the proposed Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF by Jan. 10.


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