Wells Fargo, one of the oldest banks in the United States, has registered a new pooled investment fund that offers its wealthy clients indirect exposure to Bitcoin (BTC).
Wells Fargo’s filing of a “Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities” — also known as a Form D — with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, reveals that the fund is called “FS NYDIG BITCOIN FUND I,” reflecting the fact that it is being incorporated as a limited partnership with investment services company NYDIG and alternative assets manager FS Investments.
The notice indicates that Wells Fargo Clearing Services will receive placement and servicing fees for all clients it refers to the fund. It also shows that the fund’s first sale is yet to occur and that Wells Fargo expects the offering to last more than one year.
NYDIG, or New York Digital Investment Group, is owned by Stone Ridge Asset Management, which has pursued a Bitcoin-focused investment strategy through indirect exposure and making direct Bitcoin purchases via NYDIG.
NYDIG has also partnered with JPMorgan Chase on a new Bitcoin fund this summer — just one of the megabank’s six crypto funds, through which it has been offering crypto exposure to various clients.
Wells Fargo’s pivot to crypto reflects the asset class’s growing popularity on Wall Street, drawing in the likes of Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley.
This May, Darrell Cronk, president of Wells Fargo Investment Institute, told reporters that the institution now judges that the cryptocurrency space has “hit an evolution and maturation of its development that allows it now to be a viable investable asset,” and Wells Fargo has since begun offering exposure to its high-net-worth clients. As recently as December 2020, the head of real asset strategy at the institute had suggested it had little interest in crypto.