Digital asset manager Grayscale appoints new Chief Executive

Digital asset manager Grayscale appoints new Chief Executive

By Sam Grant - min read
An image of a man working on a report in the CEO desk

The leadership shakeup comes as the firm surpassed $25 billion in AUM

The leading cryptocurrency investment firm announced yesterday that its founder Barry Silbert would no longer be the CEO. Silbert will instead focus on presiding over Grayscale’s parent company, the Digital Currency Group. The former managing director, Michael Sonnenshein, will succeed him as the firm’s chief executive officer. His appointment as the next chief executive was confirmed in a report by Coindesk, another subsidiary of Digital Currency Group.

This is Sonnenshein’s eighth year in the firm, a spell through which he has taken different roles. His background in finance has played a significant role in his rise through the ranks over the years. Sonnenshein previously worked as an analyst at Barclays and the Bank of America, where his remarkable career began. He also had a brief stint as an associate at JP Morgan before joining the world’s largest digital currency asset manager in 2014.

In his first year at the firm, he served as an accountant executive before moving to a director role where he stayed for three years. Sonnenshein was promoted to become managing director at the beginning of 2018 – a position he occupied until he was appointed chief executive yesterday.

Speaking about the move, the outgoing Silbert said, “Grayscale has been at the vanguard of bringing digital currencies to the mainstream, and I could not be more proud of the results the team has achieved since the firm was founded.”

He heaped praise on Sonnenshein for his effort and commitment in the seven years he has been with the firm.

When Michael joined the firm seven years ago, we had one product and $60 million in assets under management. Today, investors from around the world can access 10 products, and the firm is managing more than $20 billion in assets. That accomplishment would not have been possible without Michael’s unrelenting passion for our business and his commitment to making the digital currency asset class available to a broader base of investors.”

The digital asset manager will also be looking to double its staff this year and launch new products into the market.

Working at Grayscale over the last seven years has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I am extremely grateful for the honour to assume the Chief Executive position at the firm, and I thank Barry for his vision, leadership, and support,” asserted Sonnenshein.