Kssis details Hashdex’s European expansion plan

Laurent Kssis, Hashdex

If the cryptocurrency ETP industry can have been around long enough to have a veteran participant, that participant is Laurent Kssis, who was recently announced as the managing director and head of Europe for Brazilian-based crypto asset manager, Hashdex.

Kssis has worked for both other stalwarts of the European crypto fund industry, CoinShares and 21Shares. “I am proud of what I have previously achieved and joining Hashdex was the next step in my career,” he says. 

Hashdex is a Rio de Janeiro-headquartered asset manager, which launched a crypto basket ETF, based on the Nasdaq, the Hashdex Nasdaq Crypto Index ETF (Hash11), in October 2021, and had approximately USD1 billion in AUM towards the end of 2021, and currently has more than 250,000 investors globally in its products.

Hashdex’s roots lie in servicing the investment needs of high-net-worth individuals and family offices in Brazil and the firm, headed by CEO Marcelo Sampaio, began offering crypto products through the Cayman Islands. 

“They wanted to give the beta exposure to crypto,” Kssis says, “Nasdaq offered that with a methodology that was conservative and designed to capture as much of the crypto market as possible.”

Kssis notes that historically he has been focused on single asset crypto ETPs. “But what Hashdex specialises in is baskets of crypto assets, providing exposure in a regulated and simple way to capture the market,” he says.

“Today, I don't believe the European market is served well and we see this as both an opportunity and challenge. Given the evolution of what institutional investors are demanding, we’re fully aligned on how to structure products and help investors capture broad exposure to the market.”

Kssis says that Hashdex is on a hyper-growth path. He joined the firm with its Hash11 basket, plus two small single trackers on bitcoin and Ethereum, but the firm now has a Web 3 Smart Contracts ETF, and a DeFI ETF. “Our play is thematics and that is what we want to replicate in Europe,” he says, noting that the firm has a mission of developing a European crypto product to be listed in Switzerland on the SIX Exchange.

Kssis adds, “Our signature product is the Nasdaq basket, and we want to leverage learnings from Hashdex’s HASH11 product as we expand into Europe, as we think it’s a unique thematic beta approach, not just another bitcoin ETP.”

Kssis says that while he has been on a phenomenal journey from his days at CoinShares and then 21Shares, he is ready for something different.

“I feel that, from an institutional perspective, Hashdex wants to capture the market and have an index that investors can trust with an exposure of feasible and accepted cryptocurrencies.

“This is a fascinating industry, part of the metaverse, and an institution is not going to buy just one asset, they want to diversify and a basket mitigates the risk.”

The plan is to replicate Hashdex’s success in Brazil and its recent growth in the US within the European market. 

“Firstly, we are established in Switzerland, and we intend to focus on creating ETP products for the Swiss exchange that build on the existing research and product development prowess of the global Hashdex team,” he says.

“From there, we will look to replicate these product offerings across Europe. As we build and launch products, we will continue to target innovative investors and help provide them with the exposure they want but are not currently able to capture. In addition, we will focus on leveraging our research capabilities to further educate the marketplace on crypto innovation and investing”.

There are recruitment possibilities too – Kssis says that the firm is focused on attracting new talent across Europe and hiring new members across London, Zurich, Paris, and Lisbon. 

 

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