Grayscale CEO steps down, replaced by Goldman Sachs veteran

abdelaziz Fathi

Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein after 10 years with the digital asset investment firm, the company said on Monday.

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC)

He will be succeeded by Peter Mintzberg, head of strategy for asset and wealth management at Goldman Sachs, starting August 15.

Sonnenshein, who took on the role of CEO in 2021, will be replaced by a veteran with over 20 years of experience in traditional finance. Mintzberg’s previous roles include positions at BlackRock, OppenheimerFunds, and Invesco. Until Mintzberg assumes the CEO position, CFO Edward McGee will lead the company on an interim basis.

“Michael guided the firm through exponential growth and oversaw its pivotal role in bringing spot bitcoin ETFs to market, leading the way for the broader financial industry,” Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale’s parent company Digital Currency Group, wrote on X.

In January, Grayscale was one of about a dozen firms to have a spot bitcoin ETF approved to list in the U.S. This approval came after the firm took the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to court over the regulator’s repeated refusals to allow it to convert its Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), then a closed-end fund, into an ETF.

Grayscale is also seeking approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to introduce a low-fee version of the ETF called the Grayscale Bitcoin Mini Trust.

If approved, the Grayscale Bitcoin Mini Trust would offer existing GBTC investors the benefit of lower total blended fees without requiring them to pay capital gains tax to transfer into the new fund. Grayscale is seeking permission to spin out a percentage of GBTC shares to seed the new product. While the exact fees for the new product are not disclosed at this time, they are expected to be competitive with low-cost bitcoin ETFs already available in the market.

The high fees of the existing GBTC product, which stands at 1.5%, have been a concern for investors, especially with the emergence of lower-cost alternatives following the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs in January. Grayscale’s move to introduce a low-fee version of its flagship fund is aimed at addressing these concerns and attracting investors who prioritize cost efficiency.

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