Morgan Stanley, which ranks sixth among U.S. banks with total assets worth $858 billion is excited to welcome Andrew Peel on board as its new “head of digital asset markets.”
According to his LinkedIn profile, Peel used to work as the vice president of sales and trading innovation at Credit Suisse before joining Morgan Stanley. At Credit Suisse Peel, he served as the resident “trading subject matter expert for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, client coverage and internal presentations,”
Peel’s recruitment as Morgan Stanley’s new “head of digital asset markets,” took place last month. Some reports suggested that Andrew will work from the Zurich and London offices of the firm. However, there is no clarity on what Peel’s new role as head of digital asset markets entails. His hiring indicates that the firm wants to stealthily investigate on how and why it should expand its exposure to the burgeoning cryptocurrency space. Cryptocurrency is continuously seeing increasing interest from institutional buyers.
History suggests that CEO James Gorman of Morgan Stanley makes conflicting statements about the firm’s perspective on cryptocurrency. On many occasions, he has been heard remarking that bitcoin is “by definition speculative” that is nevertheless a “fascinating development” and “more than a fad.” According to Morgan Stanley analysts, bitcoin’s price movements are reminiscent of the dot-com bubble in 2000. They firmly believe that the bitcoin price could crash to zero and that cryptocurrency assets are a poor hedge against inflation.
Goldman Sachs, one among the rivals had announced that they will launch bitcoin trading desks, and even crypto-sceptical asset managers like BlackRock have conceded that they cannot ignore the asset class. However, Morgan Stanley did not sit quietly on it. Well on its part, the firm quietly began helping its client’s trade bitcoin futures in January, just one month after the competitors began trading on Chicago-based exchanges CBOE and CME.