Morgan Stanley Launches Crypto Research Team, Taps Sheena Shah To Lead
Global Investment Bank Morgan Stanley is launching a new research division dedicated to cryptocurrency. The Wall Street giant has appointed leading cryptocurrency analyst Sheena Shah to head the new team.
Sheena Shah has worked as Morgan Stanley’s lead currency strategist for more than eight years and has covered G10 currencies. She has a fabulous contribution to the bank’s crypto-related research efforts.
In her new role as the head of the research team, Shah will reportedly work on analyzing the impact of cryptocurrencies on equities and fixed-income investments, like treasury and corporate bonds. A spokesperson for the company also confirmed that Shah’s team will be based in London.
“The launch of dedicated crypto research is in recognition of the growing significance of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets in global markets,” Morgan Stanley’s David Adelman, Juliet Estridge, and Vishy Tirupattur said in a memo to staff.
Morgan Stanley has been working on digital assets over the past year. The bank has steadily grown its exposure to Bitcoin through several investment funds by Grayscale Investments. In March this year, Morgan Stanley also introduced a Bitcoin investment tool for millionaire clients.
In June, a US SEC filing showed that the bank bought over 28,000 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust product. Later in August, Morgan Stanley increased its bitcoin exposure, with four of its funds making indirect investments in BTC. They include Morgan Stanley Insight Fund, Morgan Stanley Variable Insurance Fund Inc, Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Inc, and Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust. Meanwhile, the Morgan Stanley Insight Fund made the most significant crypto investment, having collected 928,051 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.
Several other banks worldwide have also been signaling their interest in digital assets and are looking to increase client exposure to crypto. In July this year, the Bank of America also created its own crypto research team. Meanwhile, banking giant Citigroup announced that it would offer investors access to Bitcoin futures trading products.
The second-oldest continuously operating U.S. bank, State Street had also recently announced the launch of a dedicated digital finance division. Further, Wall Street giants JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs rolled out crypto trading services this year. In June, investment bank Goldman Sachs revealed that it was looking to expand the scope of its crypto services to include ether futures and trading, while JP Morgan gave access to five crypto funds to its wealthy clients.
The traditional finance industry continues to dive into crypto amid the immense growth of the cryptocurrency market. The total market value of all cryptocurrencies has added over $1 trillion dollars over the past year, a massive jump from around $350 billion a year ago to $2.1 trillion at present.