Mutual Fund Giant Franklin Templeton Eyes Bitcoin, Ether Trades with Planned Hires. Despite spending years experimenting with blockchain technology, this $1.5 trillion asset manager is new to crypto investing.
A series of job postings indicate Franklin Templeton is trying to staff up in order to execute trades involving bitcoin and ether.
Two crypto-related jobs were posted this week, one for a trader and another for a researcher. Both of whom would be part of Franklin Templeton’s Digital Assets Management division, according to the job listings.
Franklin Templeton is making its first foray into bitcoin
The job posting read, “We are seeking a Cryptocurrency Trader to execute trades using the largest, most liquid crypto assets (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum)”.
With these two gigs, Franklin Templeton appears to be making its first foray into bitcoin, which reflects the $1.5 trillion firm’s renewed interest in crypto as an investment. Towards the end of July, it backed a Galaxy Digital fund of funds, which seeks investment opportunities in the crypto economy.
Nevertheless, Franklin Templeton’s cryptocurrency hires are considerably more direct. Among other responsibilities, these roles will be responsible for executing crypto strategies, partnering with blockchain developer communities, and developing new crypto products for the mutual fund issuer and money manager.
Franklin Templeton’s crypto trading is not fully evident if it will directly deal with the coins. According to the job description, the role would require experience in derivatives and futures markets. Which could suggest a focus on bitcoin and ether contracts, as other investment firms have done.
Spicing up the bland money market funds
The asset manager has been playing around with blockchain technologies since at least mid-2019. Mainly as a novel way to spice up the bland money market funds. Additionally, it has tried tokenizing shares, and last year joined custodian firm Curv’s $23 million Series A.
Through this year, leadership remained sceptical to invest in cryptocurrency. In March, according to the statement of Stephen Dover, Chief Market Strategist, Franklin Templeton does not own any cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, during earnings call in May, CEO Jennifer Johnson stated that bitcoin wasn’t her favourite.
At the time, Franklin Templeton’s Chief Financial Officer Matthew Nicholls provided a more moderate commentary. When asked about crypto, he said the firm is “concentrating” on getting ready for it. “The ability to field digital assets, as he described it, is going to be very important to the future of business”, he said.