It’s a Bear Market, but Point72 Is Still Hiring Crypto Pros
The two latest hires, who report directly to Point72’s c-suite, are the latest indicator that Steve Cohen’s firm is continuing to branch out into digital assets
Point72’s Steve Cohen | Source: Point72
Rocky crypto markets have not deterred Point72 Asset Management’s push into the sector.
The multi-strategy hedge and venture fund firm has added two senior professionals to its maturing crypto team, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Michael Ashby, formerly chief operating officer of outsourced trading firm Meraki Advisors, joined Point72 this week. Ashby, based in New York, holds the title of head of digital assets strategic implementation.
And Terence Schofield — who last spent time at digital asset-focused investment manager Pantera Capital as chief operating officer — started as Point72’s head of digital assets technology at the end of September.
Ashby, a longtime traditional finance pro, takes on a senior role that includes operations, especially working to build out the needed crypto trading infrastructure with input from a number of existing divisions.
Ashby reports directly to the firm’s chief financial officer, while Schofield reports directly to Point72’s chief technology officer — one indicator of the value Point72 has placed on its developing digital asset foray.
Pointing the way
Ashby’s post involves coordinating non-investment efforts, including between middle- and back-office teams that handle administrative and infrastructure functions for traders. He would also play a role in any hiring efforts. Part of his mandate is to tap into the existing rails that guide the multi-strategy fund operator’s existing processes.
The thinking is to avoid having to start entirely from scratch when it comes to digital assets and to conserve the capital costs of setting up a system for investing in cryptoassets — which is typically quite costly and time consuming.
For his part, Schofield has been tasked with overseeing the creation and development of the crypto division’s computer-driven models for digital assets, as well as playing a role in how trades are executed. It’s a position that additionally requires working with counterparties outside the firm, such as exchanges and related market-makers.
In addition to Pantera, Schofield’s resume includes stints at Cargill and Lake Hill Capital in c-suite technology roles. Like Ashby — who led the charge to build out the crypto dealings of his former employer, Meraki — Schofield’s longtime traditional finance expertise appears to have been attractive to his new firm.
Ashby, who also has experience in business development, has also worked for Thunderbird Partners and Ziff Brothers Investment.
The source categorized both hires as “not a stretch” or a gamble for the firm, but ones that seem to make strategic sense, adding that the operation could have turned to more crypto-native professionals — but didn’t.
Point72, run by founder Steve Cohen, has so far traded only fairly vanilla crypto trust products, such as Grayscale’s GBTC, and related derivatives — its traders have yet to dabble in spot cryptocurrencies or more exotic products.
That said, Blockworks reported in July that the firm was in the “early innings” of a “big crypto push,” according to a source familiar with the matter, including a search for two senior digital asset professionals — now revealed to be Ashby and Schofield.
Cohen has personally given input on his firm’s push into crypto, according to a second source, which started with Point72’s venture capital arm snapping up a series of stakes in startups in the sector. The hedge fund billionaire is also in the process of setting up a separate entity — one not involving Ashby and Schofield — to exclusively trade digital assets.
The Point72 chief — who also maintains exposures to the asset class via his multibillion-dollar family office — tapped a reformed hacker with deep crypto ties, known as Acidphreak, as the new company’s first trader.
A spokesperson for Point72 and Cohen declined to comment.
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