Capital markets News

Fidelity sets up European digital assets subsidiary


Today Fidelity, the financial services firm that administers $8 trillion in assets, announced the formation of a U.K. subsidiary to provide digital asset services. It follows the launch of the U.S.-based Fidelity Digital Asset Services over a year ago. The European-focused subsidiary is being set up in the U.K. despite the impending Brexit.

In fact, the company was only incorporated yesterday and currently is still a shell with temporary officers listed in the corporate registry.

As with the U.S. subsidiary, the focus is on providing digital asset services to institutional investors such as hedge funds, family offices and market intermediaries.

“Since launching Fidelity Digital Assets in the U.S. over a year ago, we’ve seen significant interest and engagement by the institutional community, which show no signs of slowing,” said Tom Jessop, head of Corporate Business Development for Fidelity Investments and president of Fidelity Digital Assets.

The U.K. subsidiary will offer similar services such as institutional-grade digital asset custody, trade execution and dedicated client service.

Chris Tyrer will lead Fidelity Digital Assets in Europe. He previously was with Barclays where he was exploring setting up a cryptocurrency desk, but the plans were abandoned. Before that, he was head of commodities trading at Barclays and worked as an oil trader both for Barclays and trading house Mercuria.

Meanwhile, eight months ago, Fidelity published a survey that showed 22% of institutional investors (including crypto funds) already had exposure to digital assets, and 47% said digital assets had a place in their portfolios.

Today asset manager and administration firm State Street announced a deal with Gemini to enable cryptocurrencies held in Gemini Custody to appear on a State Street dashboard alongside conventional investments.