A leap of faith: The former Point72 PM who left to set up his own crypto fund

Travis Kling, chief investment officer at Ikigai Asset Management talks to The TRADE Crypto about leaving Point72 to set up his own crypto fund.

Tech-savvy individual investors have been dabbling in cryptocurrency investing for some time, but now experienced market professionals are taking crypto investing to the next level. Travis Kling, chief investment officer, at Ikigai Asset Management recently left a world class hedge fund to launch his own fund and focus fully on crypto investing.

Kling worked at Point72, a global asset management firm led by Cohen that uses discretionary long/short, macro, and systematic strategies to invest in eight offices across the globe. Kling took a leap of faith and left the world class hedge fund to focus on crypto investing.

Kling gave The TRADE Crypto a rundown of his new crypto hedge fund.

The size of the huge fund is double digit million AUM with 10 employees and the investable universe is top 150 crypto assets by marketcap. Kling explains the Ikigai fund is a long/short multistrat crypto asset hedge fund “looking to generate superior risk-adjusted returns on a repeatable basis through the execution of venture stage pre-ICO investments and both systematic and fundamental liquid hedge fund strategies.”

Kling says: “As a crypto asset management firm, we are investing at the intersection of what we are good at, what we like to do, and what the world needs for the purpose of ethically delivering superior risk-adjusted returns.”

The hedge fund investment strategy will be 25% of AUM is dedicated into pre-ICO’s and equity of the entities that are issuing the new crypto assets. Around 75% of AUM is dedicated into a L/S Multistrat- liquid hedge fund strategies applied to the Crypto asset space.

Kling highlights that the liquid fund takes the four foundations of qualitative research, fundamental valuation, quantitative tools and event-driven Catalysts and stand up an active portfolio management strategy on top of those 4 Foundations.

He explains: “We deploy capital dynamically into five different strategies that sit at different places along the risk/return spectrum. Capital allocation decisions are made based on the relative attractiveness of each strategy in comparison to the other strategies, when looking at the spectrum of strategies through the lens of the four foundations. The hedge fund will also be investing in initial coin offerings.”

Kling spent 10 years in traditional finance before founding Ikigai. Most recently, he was a L/S equity portfolio manager at Point 72 through 2017 and prior to that, he was an energy analyst at Magnetar Capital from 2011 to 2015, investing across the capital structure in L/S equities and non-control private equity and debt. From 2008 to 2010, Kling was an investment banker with Simmons & Company, focused on M&A.

The type of investors the hedge fund is looking to attract are primarily HNW and family offices to start with and institutional investors once they’re ready to deploy capital into the space.