Two blockchain industry veterans have teamed up with a private equity investor and a former construction manager to start a crypto hedge fund, touting the team’s diversity as a strength.
The new venture, called Amentum, is seeking to raise $10 million from individual investors for the first fund and aims to begin putting the money to work at the beginning of 2018.
Among the four general partners, probably the best-known name in the blockchain community is Steven McKie, the former head of growth and product content at Purse.io, the bitcoin shopping site. McKie is joined by Boyma Fahnbulleh, who was previously a software engineer at Chain, the enterprise blockchain software startup.
Another member of the Amentum team is Chris Russ, the private equity investor and a former investment banking analyst at Credit Suisse. Rounding out the quartet is Kyle Forkey, previously a project manager for Pegasus Builders in Wellington, Florida, who now also runs a separate firm specializing in equity-oriented ICOs.
Three of the four Amentum partners are African-American, an unusual level of representation in the crypto space, but that is not the only type of diversity they are emphasizing in their pitch, according to McKie.
There is also “diversity of mind, diversity of skill set, diversity of the assets which we invest in,” he said, noting the different professional backgrounds of his co-founders.
“The more different types of individuals we have in the space … the more enriched the space can be in long term.”
The team plans to invest roughly 70% of the fund in liquid cryptocurrencies – a portfolio that will be actively managed – and reserve the other 30% to selectively deploy in initial coin offerings and public blockchain launches.
The ICO investments will include discounted pre-sales, though not exclusively, McKie said.
Amentum’s main investment criteria for a blockchain are sustainability (Does a project have the use cases and committed developer community that will last?), interoperability (Can it integrate with other projects to create additional value?) and security (Is it safe to use?)
According to McKie, it will charge investors the standard “two and twenty” management fee – 2% of assets under management plus 20% of the profits.
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has ownership stakes in Purse and Chain.
Boyma Fahnbulleh on left, Chris Russ on right. Photo via Amentum
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