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A longtime equities-focused hedge fund manager is spinning up a crypto fund — the latest example of a legacy financier entering digital-assets.

Scores of traditional investors have proven unable to sidestep the lures of cryptocurrency, launching them in tandem with existing investment operations.

James Crichton, founder and head portfolio manager at Hitchwood Capital, has formed Platoon Capital to invest in cryptocurrencies, according to a person familiar with the matter. The source was granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business dealings. Crichton did not respond to requests for comment.

Details about the new operation are still largely under wraps, but Crichton has been speaking with potential limited-partners in recent weeks, the source said. It’s not clear how much experience Crichton and his team at Hitchwood have in trading digital-assets.

One possibility is that he would bring in an outside person or team to help oversee Platoon, which is a separate business entity from Hitchwood. The New York-based Hitchwood specializes in making concentrated, opportunistic bets on equities worldwide via a bottom-up, fundamental investing framework. The firm oversaw about $1.7 billion of assets under management at year end 2020, the most recent figure available.

Platoon is also based in New York.

Some indications, however, point to Hitchwood already having experience trading cryptocurrencies via the firm’s flagship fund.

“The Master Fund may invest in or gain exposure to digital assets, including through futures, options, the spot market, and equity securities that expose it to risks associated with digital currencies such as Bitcoin,” SEC documents filed by the firm state.

That would make Hitchwood one of a number of traditional hedge fund firms — with others including GoldenTree Asset Management — looking for exposure to Bitcoin and other digital-assets to hedge existing positions or diversify existing portfolios.

Crichton founded Hitchwood in 2014. He previously worked for firms including Scout Capital. 

A longtime equities-focused hedge fund manager is spinning up a crypto fund — the latest example of a legacy financier entering digital-assets.

Scores of traditional investors have proven unable to sidestep the lures of cryptocurrency, launching them in tandem with existing investment operations.

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