London-based hedge fund Winton is in search of crypto bonds

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Winton Group, the London-based hedge fund founded by billionaire quant investor David Harding, is on the lookout for specialized crypto expertise, in a hint that it will join other heavyweight investors operating in the fast-growing cryptocurrency market digital assets want to gain a foothold.

The company, founded by Harding in 2007, posted a job listing on LinkedIn in August for a crypto quant researcher to “support the development of our systematic crypto trading strategies.”

The successful candidate will sit in Winton’s investment management and research group and will be responsible for signals analysis and research in crypto markets, portfolio construction for trading strategies, and reporting and analysis, the ad reads.

Winton, who was reportedly managing $8 billion in assets earlier this year, declined to comment on the job posting when contacted by Financial News.

The company’s search for dedicated crypto expertise comes amid rapid expansion into digital assets among hedge funds worldwide.

According to a PwC report released in June, more than a third of traditional hedge funds are now investing in digital assets — nearly double the number a year ago.

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Of traditional hedge funds surveyed by PwC, 38% said they invest in digital assets, compared to 21% a year ago. The number of dedicated crypto hedge funds worldwide is now estimated to be over 300, with the number of newly launched funds increasing over the past two years.

PwC’s research suggested that most traditional hedge funds are just beginning to dive into crypto, with 57% having less than 1% of their total assets invested in the space. However, 67% said they plan to invest more capital in the asset class by the end of 2022.

Bitcoin was traded by 86% of hedge funds surveyed by PwC, with the next most popular cryptos listed as Ether, Solana, and Polkadot.

What about other hedge funds?

Other big-name hedge funds have tried to make a foray into the crypto world.

Point72 — the US hedge fund founded by Steve Cohen — is seeking at least two senior crypto experts to augment its expertise in digital assets, according to a July report by Blockworks, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Brevan Howard has reportedly raised more than $1 billion from institutional investors for its flagship digital asset-focused venture.

Founded in September 2021, BH Digital has grown to more than 60 employees according to its website, with its team supported by more than 20 external blockchain engineers.

Despite a slump in the crypto market, the number of finance jobs that require industry knowledge continues to grow.

JPMorgan has 16 live job openings that require knowledge of blockchain or crypto. Citigroup has 11, according to Indeed data, while rating agency Moody’s has 12.

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To contact the author of this story with feedback or updates, email David Ricketts