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Grayscale appoints Goldman Sachs exec as new CEO

It was during Sonnenshein's leadership that Grayscale won a historic legal case against the SEC, paving the way for the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Grayscale new CEO leadership transition

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Grayscale Investments’ Michael Sonnenshein is stepping down as CEO after over a decade of working with the crypto asset management firm. Grayscale has appointed Peter Mintzberg, currently the global head of strategy for asset and wealth management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management.

Prior to his role at Goldman Sachs, Mintzberg held global leadership roles in Strategy, Mergers & Acquisitions and Investor Relations at BlackRock, Invesco, and OppenheimerFunds. Mintzberg will officially begin as Grayscale’s new CEO on August 15.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Grayscale’s board and parent company, Digital Currency Group, began searching for a new CEO in late 2023, though the search was not related to GBTC’s performance or outflows.

“The crypto asset class is at an important inflection point and this is the right moment for a smooth transition,” Sonnenshein said.

Sonnenshein’s tenure as CEO of Grayscale Investments marked a period of significant growth and transformation for the company. Under his leadership, Grayscale’s assets under management soared from a modest $60 million to $30 billion.

It was during Sonnenshein’s leadership that Grayscale won a historic legal case against the SEC, paving the way for the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF earlier in January.

Sonnenshein also led the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to accumulate an astonishing 624,000 BTC before successfully guiding the trust through its transition to a spot Bitcoin ETF in January 2023. However, as of his resignation, the trust’s Bitcoin holdings have declined to 290,000 BTC.

Despite this reduction, the dollar value of the trust’s assets only decreased to $9.6 billion, largely due to Bitcoin’s price surge from $46,000 to $67,000 during this period. The decrease in Bitcoin holdings has resulted in a reduction of approximately $144 million per year in management fees for Grayscale, which charges a 1.5% fee on its Bitcoin ETF.

The firm’s current assets under management stands at around $19.4 billion, with $290 million in revenue from annual fees expected. Earlier this month, the firm has withdrawn its application for an Ethereum futures ETF.

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