One of the largest U.S. investment banks, Morgan Stanley, will be offering its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America’s wealth management divisions do not currently allow their advisors to offer direct investment in bitcoin funds.
Morgan Stanley to Offer Wealth Clients Access to Bitcoin Funds
Investment bank Morgan Stanley, with $4 trillion in client assets, has become the “first big U.S. bank to offer its wealth management clients access to bitcoin funds,” CNBC reported Wednesday.
The firm reportedly told its financial advisors in an internal memo that it is launching access to three funds that allow exposure to bitcoin, the publication conveyed, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. According to the people, clients have been demanding exposure to the cryptocurrency, adding:
Clients can likely make investments as early as next month, after the bank’s financial advisors complete training courses tied to the new offerings.
Two of the bitcoin funds on offer are from Galaxy Digital: the Galaxy Bitcoin Fund LP and the Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund LP. The third is FS NYDIG Select Fund, a joint effort from asset manager FS Investments and New York Digital Investments Group (NYDIG). The latter is the bitcoin investment arm of Stone Ridge Asset Management. Two of the funds have minimum investments of $25,000, but Galaxy Institutional Bitcoin Fund has a $5 million minimum.
The funds are only available to clients of Morgan Stanley’s wealth management division and investments are restricted to 2.5% of the client’s total net worth, the sources revealed. Clients must have at least $2 million in assets held by the firm with “an aggressive risk tolerance” to qualify, whereas investment firms need at least $5 million at the bank.
The wealth management divisions of other major U.S. investment banks — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America — do not currently allow their advisors to offer direct investment in bitcoin funds, the news outlet noted.
Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz and NYDIG both tweeted that they are thrilled “to partner with Morgan Stanley, the first US bank to offer access to bitcoin for their wealth management clients.”
Bitcoiners welcome this move by Morgan Stanley, praising the investment bank for its contribution in making bitcoin more mainstream. Microstrategy CEO Michael Saylor wrote, “Morgan Stanley is the first bank to offer bitcoin, they won’t be the last.” Economist Saifedean Ammous, the author of The Bitcoin Standard, commented: “Today is the day the big banks entered bitcoin.” Morgan Creek Digital partner Anthony Pompliano opined:
Galaxy Digital and NYDIG will both be onboarding millions of people to bitcoin via the largest US brokerage. Morgan Stanley is in the game. Bitcoin is inevitable.
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