Global X Poaches 21Shares Exec To Lead Digital Assets Product Push

The New York-based ETF issuer looks to expand its crypto thematic products and suite of crypto ETPs in Europe


Adam Sze, Global X Head of Digital Assets product | Source: LinkedIn


key takeaways

  • Adam Sze spent more than a decade at New York Life Investment Management before his time at 21Shares
  • Global X launched bitcoin and ether ETPs in Europe in March and more recently brought to market a metaverse ETF

Asset manager Global X has poached an executive from the company with the world’s largest crypto ETP suite to be its head of digital assets product. 

Adam Sze most recently worked as director of ETPs (exchange-traded products) for Switzerland-based 21Shares, where he led the team in the design, implementation and launch of more than a dozen physically-backed crypto ETPs.

New York-based Global X offers more than 90 ETF strategies and has assets under management of roughly $40 billion. 

The hire comes about two months after Global X launched its first physically backed crypto ETPs in Europe. The products, listed on Deutsche Börse Xetra in Germany, invest directly in bitcoin and ether.

Global X had filed in July 2021 to launch a bitcoin trust, though the SEC has not yet approved such a product.

“The digital asset space has scaled from a decentralized currency to a digital economy, and the use case for digital assets has expanded to allow for the creation of applications that leverage the advantages of blockchain technology,” Global X Head of Product Development Alex Ashby said in a statement. 

Before working at 21Shares, Sze held senior-level roles on product teams at New York Life Investment Management, covering traditional and alternative investment assets. He worked at the company for more than 12 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. 

He joins Global X as the company is looking to expand its lineup of crypto thematic products and bolster its suite of crypto ETPs in Europe, Sze said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the firm declined to comment on specific potential future products, but noted that the company “is committed to cryptocurrency as an asset class.” 

Global X has already launched several crypto-related ETFs in the US, including its Blockchain ETF (BKCH), which it brought to market last July. Its Blockchain and Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITS) and its Metaverse ETF (VR), began trading in November and April, respectively.

Though a 21Shares spokesperson did not immediately comment on Sze’s departure, the company last week announced the hire of former Uber executive Karan Chawla as its vice president of product. 

Chawla will focus on 21Shares’ product roadmap to offer investors access to DeFi protocols, according to a company statement, and will seek to further drive institutional adoption of digital assets.

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