Fidelity Investments is hiring technical staff to work on the xpansion of its Digital Assetsplatform, an alternatives execution platform that was rolled out in 2018.
“Since we launched, the digital assetsmarket has grown exponentially,” wrotePeter Farland, chief technology officerof Fidelity Digital Assets, in a blog on itswebsite about the hiring plans.
“More institutions are adopting digital assets as part of their portfolios andtheir needs are becoming increasinglydiverse and sophisticated,” Farland said.
Farland said that over the next fewmonths his division plans to hire “morethan 20 engineers across the full spectrum of our technology stack to capitalize on increased market demand and toexpand our overall capabilities.”
More specifically, the company islooking for engineers with developmentexperience with Bitcoin, Ethereum andother digital assets.
Fidelity Digital Assets provides enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for crypto assets to sophisticatedinstitutional investors such as hedge funds,family offices and market intermediaries.
Fidelity Investments was one of thefirst traditional financial firms to embraceblockchain and digital currencies. Evenbefore it launched its Digital Assets platform it began accepting bitcoin and otherdigital currencies as donations in itsdonor-advised fund, Fidelity Charitable.
In August it filed a registration noticewith the SEC to offer a new bitcoin fundfor wealthy investors. The minimuminvestment for the fund, called the WiseOrigin Bitcoin Index Fund I, is $100,000.
“Ultimately, we imagine a future whereall types of assets are issued natively onblockchain or represented in a tokenizedformat,” wrote Farland in his blog.
BLACKROCK, ESG AND PRIVATE EQUITY
At the annual Morningstar InvestmentConference in October, BlackRock CEOLarry Fink doubled down on the firm’slong-standing commitment to environmental, social and governance standards.He promised that by the end of this year,100% of its portfolios will integrate ESGmetrics, up from 70% at the end of April.
Following the behemoth’s move areprivate equity companies, which havebeen waking up to the importance ofpurpose, responsibility and transparency for the last several years. Now,though, the pandemic has catapultedthese concepts to the top of the agenda.
This trend in private equity wasdiscussed by Anna Grotberg, an associate partner at EY-Parthenon, at theBritish Pvt. Equity and Venture CapitalAssociation Ltd. Summit, according to areport by S&P Market Intelligence.
“My personal opinion, based on the
conversations over the past few months,
is that this real sense of purpose and
responsibility that has been on the agen-
da is being accelerated right now,” she
said, according to the report. “We’ve
had increasing demand from [limited
partners] in terms of transparency and
accountability, particularly around
[ESG] and ESG policies,” she added.
According to Grotberg, private equity
companies are four of the world’s 10 larg-
est employers, and they are in a position
to drive growth, both in the economy and
in society. More are taking ESG investing
seriously; in fact, currently there are 700
private equity funds that are signatories
to the Principles of Responsible Investing,
a UK-based organization that promoted
ESG factors in investment decisions.
The National Associate of RealEstate Investment Trusts’ recent ESGreport also noted an urgency for REITsto adopt “environmental stewardship,social responsibility and good governance” following the pandemic.
While ESG already has been a focusfor REITs, in recent years, the significantcost savings, solid tenant and community engagement and lasting value-addedbenefits has proven the effectiveness ofthe model. As a result, more REITs arefocusing on ESG.
In 2019, 89% of REITs report ESG factors publicly, up from 78% in 2018. Thishas already made a significant impacton the commercial market. REITs own$2 trillion in assets and more than 87million Americans invest in REIT stock.
The Counselors of Real Estatepegged ESG as one of the industry’stop trends and a growing influence ofmillennial investors.
—Kelsi Maree Borland of Globe Streetcontributed to this report.
Bernice Napach can be reached email@example.com.
By Bernice Napach
Fidelity Is Expanding Its Digital Assets Platform
The bitcoin and cryptocurrency market has grown “exponentially,”according to the firm.