Fund Files: Scaramucci readies crypto ETF; Eaton Vance shuffles PM teams – Citywire USA

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Your daily roundup of the latest fund launches, manager moves, and strategy shifts.

Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital has partnered with First Trust to launch a cryptocurrency ETF, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The First Trust SkyBridge Crypto Leaders ETF will not invest in digital assets or cryptocurrency directly, but will invest up to 80% of its assets in  companies involved with the digital asset ecosystem, including digital asset miners, hardware providers, banking and financial service companies, payment processors, trading and asset management firms, as well as firms that hold digital currencies on their balance sheets.

SkyBridge will subadvise the strategy, with Scaramucci and SkyBridge COO Brett Messing listed as managers.

First Trust and SkyBridge have previously teamed up on two other cryptocurrency-related ETFs: First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin ETF Trust and First Trust SkyBridge Bitcoin Strategy. The latter will invest in derivatives.

Scaramucci launched a bitcoin partnership, SkyBridge Bitcoin Fund LP, earlier this year, which is limited to accredited investors.

The SEC hasn’t approved a bitcoin ETF yet, citing the currency’s volatility and the potential for fraud. The filing also notes cryptocurrency’s volatility, saying investors should be prepared to ‘lose ‘all or part of [their] investment.’

Bitcoin itself peaked at nearly $63,400 in mid-April, and is now around $34,000, a decline of around 45% in a less than three months. The way to exposure has been through trusts, which have higher fees, are less liquid, and trade at higher premiums.

Scaramucci, a longtime hedge fund of funds operator and the former White House director of communications, shared his thoughts on Bitcoin with Citywire in late March.

Eaton Vance PM retires

Eaton Vance, a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, is adding two portfolio managers to oversee nearly $15bn in fixed-income strategies ahead of one manager’s retirement.

Craig Russ will retire from the firm in June 2022, coming off the $6.9bn Eaton Vance Floating-Rate Advantage fund and the $6.7bn Eaton Vance Floating Rate fund.

As of Thursday, Ralph Hinckley, Jr. and Jake Lemle will join Russ and Andrew Sveen on both funds, according to an SEC filing.

Sveen has been listed on the strategies since March 2019 and has been with Eaton Vance since 1999. Russ has been on the funds since November 2007, and will continue to be a portfolio manager until his retirement to aid with the transition.

‘The promotion of Ralph and Jake to join the portfolio management teams of our industry-leading floating-rate income funds speaks to the depth of talent in our floating-rate loan group and our confidence in Ralph and Jake,’ said Eric Stein, Eaton Vance’s fixed-income CIO. ‘Craig’s extensive leadership experience and investment insight, along with a deep understanding and connection to our clients, culture and industry, have been invaluable to the strong investment performance and growth of our floating-rate loan franchise.’ 

Sveen will take a leading role on the strategies once he becomes the sole director of floating-rate loan investments in January. 

Hinckley and Lemle also have been added to the $1.2bn Eaton Vance Floating-Rate and High Income fund. On that fund, they will work alongside Russ, Sveen, Kelley Baccei Gerrity, Stephen Concannon and Jeffrey Mueller.

Diamond Hill preps to transition funds to Brandywine

Diamond Hill Capital Management will transition two funds to newly created Brandywine Global Investment Management strategies by the end of next month.

A Diamond Hill filing with the SEC confirmed that the $2.2bn Diamond Hill Corporate Credit fund and $1.1bn Diamond Hill High Yield fund were on track to transition into the BrandywineGLOBAL – Corporate Credit fund and the BrandywineGLOBAL – High Yield fund, respectively, on July 30.

Brandywine, which has become a subsidiary of Franklin Templeton after the firm purchased Legg Mason, also plans to bring over Citywire AAA-rated portfolio managers John McClain and Bill Zox, as well as senior associate Jack Parker, from Diamond Hill. The deal was announced in February.