June 16, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA

Grayscale names Goldman Sachs executive as new CEO

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Grayscale Investments' Michael Sonnenshein is stepping down as CEO after more than a decade working with the crypto asset management company. Grayscale has appointed Peter Mintzberg, currently global head of strategy for asset and wealth management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Prior to his role at Goldman Sachs, Mintzberg held global leadership roles in strategy, M&A, and investor relations at BlackRock, Invesco, and OppenheimerFunds. Mintzberg will officially begin as Grayscale's new CEO on August 15.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Grayscale's board of directors and parent company, Digital Currency Group, began searching for a new CEO in late 2023, although the search was not related to GBTC's performance or exits.

“The cryptoasset class is at a major inflection point and this is the right time for a smooth transition,” Sonnenshein said.

Sonnenshein's tenure as CEO of Grayscale Investments marked a period of significant growth and transformation for the company. Under his leadership, Grayscale's assets under management soared from a modest $60 million to $30 billion.

It was during Sonnenshein's leadership that Grayscale won a landmark legal case against the SEC, paving the way for the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in early January.

Sonnenshein also led the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to amass a staggering 624,000 BTC before successfully guiding the trust through its transition to a spot Bitcoin ETF in January 2023. However, as of his resignation, the holdings of Bitcoin in the trust have decreased to 290,000 BTC.

Despite this reduction, the dollar value of the trust's assets alone decreased to $9.6 billion, largely due to the rise in the price of Bitcoin from $46,000 to $67,000 during this period. The decline in Bitcoin holdings has led to a reduction of approximately $144 million a year in management fees for Grayscale, which charges a 1.5% fee on its Bitcoin ETF.

The company's current assets under management are around $19.4 billion, with $290 million in annual fee income expected. Earlier this month, the firm has withdrew his application for an Ethereum futures ETF.

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