Hedge fund Brevan Howard plans to "significantly expand" its cryptocurrency and digital assets with the launch of a new unit focused on the industry, according to reports.

Brevan Howard said yesterday that it had created BH Digital to manage its crypto portfolio and had hired Colleen Sullivan to spearhead its private and venture investments in the area. She was the co-founder and head of CMT Digital, a crypto-focused division of CMT Group, the Chicago-based trading firm.

Aron Landy, CEO of Brevan Howard, said in a statement that Sullivan's track record in crypto "will be of tremendous benefit to Brevan Howard clients and underscores the firm's commitment to rapidly expanding its platform and offerings in cryptocurrencies and digital assets".

At Brevan, Sullivan will chair an investment committee dedicated to forging a new strategy focused on crypto technology.

The Brevan Howard Master Fund had previously announced it would allocate 1.5% to crypto this April, roughly $84m. 

Brevan's expansion comes on the back of other money managers venturing into this space in recent months. Hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has invested in bitcoin, while Man Group trades bitcoin futures, Reuters first reported.

Total assets under management of crypto hedge funds globally nearly doubled to $3.8bn in 2020, from $2bn in the previous year, an annual report published by PwC found.

The UK-based hedge fund has become one of the world's largest macro hedge funds, managing money for a wide range of institutional investors.

Founded in 2002, its website says that it a leading global alternative investment management platform, specialising in global macro.

"We manage assets for institutional investors around the world including sovereign wealth funds, corporate and public pension plans, foundations and endowments.

We have over 200 team members and 60 portfolio managers with offices in London, New York, Geneva, Jersey, Hong Kong, Edinburgh and Singapore."

First published by our sister title Investment Week