Henrik Andersson, CIO of crypto asset fund manager Apollo Capital, believes institutions may soon be able to “turn around” their conservative stance on crypto.
Speaking to TBEN, the Melbourne-based crypto fund manager said that while institutional interest in crypto has grown slowly, especially in Australia, there are many players waiting for the right time to strike.
Andersson admitted that major institutional investors in Australia, especially pension funds (or pension funds) are not yet used to the digital asset space.
“It’s still early. So yes, I speak to many family offices in Australia and smaller boutique settings. The big industry super-funds are not there yet.”
“From their point of view, there is still a lot of education going on. So it will be a while, I think,” he added.
Apollo Capital is a fund manager focused on providing family office and institutional investors with access to crypto investment opportunities. One of the most recently launched funds is the Apollo Capital Frontier Fund, which focuses on non-fungible token (NFT) infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi) and multi-chain infrastructure.
When asked what needs to be done for institutional sentiment to change, Andersson believes this will “turn around” as major players start making more substantial moves in space.
“Nobody wants to be the first in something like that. Because if you’re the first and something goes wrong, there’s a career risk. At some point, that will turn into the opposite,” explains Andersson.
“At some point, when prices go up, people don’t want to miss it. And when others invest, it becomes a career risk not to invest.”
In Australia, several major banking institutions such as ANZ, NAB and Commonwealth Bank (CBA) have already made forays into the digital asset space.
“We have seen several major banks here in Australia take an interest in digital assets. So that’s very, very good to see,” he said.
Notably, CBA was the first major bank in the country to announce crypto services through its mobile banking app last year, but later put its plans on hold, noting that it was still waiting for regulatory clarity from the new government .
Others have made strides with stablecoin and tokenized asset trading.
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Internationally, major banking conglomerates such as Singapore’s DBS Bank continue to expand their digital asset business despite the bear market, while major investment banks have also increased their coverage of the crypto space.
“You have all the major investment banks in the world writing investigative reports about the crypto world. Everyone from Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, JP Morgan and others. So there is certainly still a lot of interest in the space of those kinds of institutional players,” he explains.
“So while it seems like it’s going really slow now, you know, once the sentiment changes, we’re seeing the first players making investments that can change very, very quickly.”
Earlier this week, Irfan Ahmad, the Asia-Pacific digital leader for the bank’s crypto unit, State Street Digital, told Sydney Morning Herald that despite the current crypto winter, institutional investors have maintained their interest in blockchain and digital assets.