Former ING Crypto Lead To Helm Investcorp’s First Blockchain Fund

Hervé François to work on $42B alternative investments firm’s fund focused on NFTs, DeFi and more


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key takeaways

  • François left his role as ING’s blockchain and digital assets lead last month after serving in the post for nearly eight years
  • The executive will work with early-stage startups involved in segments such as DeFi, NFTs and blockchain infrastructure

Digital bank ING’s former head of digital assets has joined Investcorp to build out the alternative investment giant’s inaugural blockchain-focused fund. 

“I am really looking forward to this new challenge, which is another opportunity to contribute to the digital assets ecosystem and to support a blockchain-enabled world,” Hervé François wrote on LinkedIn Tuesday. 

Based in Abu Dhabi, François is tasked with working with early-stage startups involved in segments such as decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), play-to-earn, the metaverse, blockchain infrastructure, interoperability, scaling solutions and the transition to Web3.

An Investcorp spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Founded in 1982, Investcorp had $42.7 billion in assets under management as of June 30, the most recent data available. The company revealed the launch of eLydian Lion — the first dedicated institutional blockchain fund based within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — in April.

Led from Investcorp’s Abu Dhabi office, the fund is independent of and complementary to Investcorp Technology Partners, the firm’s investment strategy focused on lower mid-market technology opportunities, the company said at the time. 

Gilbert Kamieniecky, head of Investcorp’s technology private equity business, added in an April statement that the firm believes blockchain technology “will transform every facet of our economy much like the internet did in the 2000s.”

François told CoinDesk he was leaving ING in July, but it was unknown where he was headed. The news came after ING moved to spin out its Pyctor digital assets technology to GMEX Group.

The executive joined ING in 2011 as a senior foreign exchange swap trader, before becoming its blockchain and digital assets lead in 2014 — a role he left last month.

Before ING, François worked for about seven years in several roles at Natixis Corporate & Investment Banking, including as a foreign exchange swap trader.

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