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Grayscale Positions Itself for Bitcoin ETF Race with Hire of Former Invesco Head John Hoffman

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: Ascannio / Adobe Stock.

Crypto asset manager Grayscale has appointed John Hoffman, former Head of Americas at Invesco, to lead its distribution and partnerships team.

On December 1, Grayscale announced the hiring of John, who has experience with ETFs and index strategies at Invesco. Hoffman, an ETF veteran, brings over 17 years of experience from Invesco, where he played various roles, including leading the Americas, ETF, and indexed strategies teams.

During his time at Invesco, Hoffman held various roles, including director of ETF institutional sales and capital markets. Grayscale’s Global Head of ETFs, Dave LaValle, expressed excitement about Hoffman joining as Managing Director, emphasizing his wealth of industry and ETF expertise.

Dave LaValle said in a statement,

“The Grayscale team is thrilled to have John Hoffman join us as managing director and head of distribution and strategic partnerships. John has a wealth of industry and ETF expertise, which will be invaluable to our team and clients, especially during this exciting time at Grayscale.”

Invesco Faces Key Departures as Anna Paglia Moves to State Street Global Advisors

Invesco, a prominent ETF issuer in the United States, is grappling with another significant departure as Anna Paglia, the global head of ETFs, indexed strategies, separately managed accounts, and models, leaves to join State Street Global Advisors. On November 27, State Street Global Advisors officially announced Paglia’s appointment as executive vice president and chief business officer, effective early next year.

In response to Paglia’s departure, Invesco’s spokeswoman stated that Brian Hartigan, the global head of investments, ETFs, and indexed strategies, will temporarily take on Paglia’s responsibilities. Simultaneously, the firm is actively searching for a permanent replacement for her role.

Invesco, a major ETF issuer managing over 200 ETFs with approximately $425 billion in assets under management, has seen several key departures recently, reflecting the evolving landscape of the ETF industry. The transition of experienced professionals like Anna Paglia to other major players, such as State Street Global Advisors, underscores the competitive nature of the ETF market and the strategic importance of talent in shaping the success of asset management firms.

Grayscale Investments Makes Strategic Move Ahead of SEC Decision on Spot Bitcoin ETFs

Hoffman’s arrival comes at a crucial juncture, just six weeks before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to decide on Grayscale’s proposal to launch a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Grayscale is seeking to convert its GBTC bitcoin trust into an ETF in January, and its application is among the 13 other potential spot bitcoin ETFs awaiting approval.

The SEC is currently reviewing applications from various asset managers, including WisdomTree, Invesco, Fidelity, and BlackRock, for spot bitcoin ETFs. Despite the growing interest in these financial products, the SEC still needs to approve any spot crypto ETF applications.

Both Grayscale and BlackRock have recently engaged with the SEC’s division of trading and markets to discuss their applications for spot bitcoin funds. While a court ruling mandated the SEC to review Grayscale’s applications, the regulatory agency may still choose to deny them.

The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs is highly anticipated, and market participants are speculating that concrete decisions may be made in January 2024. This anticipation has contributed to a surge in Bitcoin’s price, with a 12.1% increase over the past month and a remarkable 123.7% rise over the past year. As of the latest update, Bitcoin is trading at $38,415, reflecting a 2.3% increase over the past day.