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January 31, 2018  

Eckel Offers Marketing Help to Crypto Funds

Paul Eckel’s Emerging Manager, a third-party fund marketer that also advises startups on operational issues, has formed an affiliate to target the rapidly expanding field of cryptocurrency funds.

Eckel, an industry veteran who began his career as a trader at Caxton Associates and Moore Capital, believes the new business, Crypto Emerging Manager, is the only marketing and consulting firm focused exclusively on crypto-fund managers. The complexity and volatility of the asset class demands a capital-introduction service that can help bridge the communications gap between managers and investors, he said.

Since founding Emerging Manager in 2005, Eckel has helped launch 25 hedge fund businesses — mostly quantitative-investment operations — by providing a mix of fund-raising, investor-relations and operational-consulting services. His comfort level with quant funds should come in handy when working with crypto-fund operators that employ algorithms to profit from pricing inefficiencies and volatility.

About half of Emerging Manager’s 10 existing clients plan to launch crypto strategies, Eckel said — the main motivation for starting Crypto Emerging Manager.

Separately, Eckel is launching an affiliate called Emerging Manager Capital that will offer seed money to startup fund operators. Although the allocations would be smaller than the amounts provided by most other seeding programs, Eckel is telling managers he’s in a position to conduct due-diligence reviews more quickly than the typical 9-18 month process. And he aims to close multiple seed deals per year, versus perhaps one or two for most seed-capital investors.

To fund the seeding program, Eckel plans to tap investors — mainly family offices — that have allocated to quant managers he has worked with in the past.