Grayscale Investments Announces CEO Succession Plan

Michael Sonnenshein is stepping down as chief executive officer of Grayscale Investments after a decade-long tenure, with Peter Mintzberg set to assume the role later this year, the cryptocurrency asset manager announced.

Mintzberg, currently serving as the global head of strategy for asset and wealth management at Goldman Sachs Asset Management, will take over as CEO on August 15, according to a press release from Grayscale. In the interim, Chief Financial Officer Edward McGee will lead the firm.

Sonnenshein, who joined Grayscale in 2014 and served as CEO for the past three years, is departing to pursue other interests, the company stated. The news was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal.

During Sonnenshein’s tenure, Grayscale notably achieved a significant milestone in its battle with the SEC, leading to the approval of the first spot-Bitcoin ETFs. The company had long sought to convert its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into an exchange-traded fund, with assets peaking at nearly $44 billion in 2021. However, since the conversion in January, GBTC has experienced outflows exceeding $17.6 billion, while competitors offering cheaper spot Bitcoin ETFs have seen positive inflows.

Sonnenshein defended GBTC’s relatively high fee in a January interview with Bloomberg TV, citing the company’s size, liquidity, and track record. Despite Grayscale’s efforts, the SEC rejected its proposal to convert GBTC in 2022, arguing that a Bitcoin-based ETF lacked adequate oversight to detect fraud. Grayscale subsequently sued to overturn the decision.

The search for a new CEO began in late 2023, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal, with Grayscale’s board and parent company, Digital Currency Group, initiating the process. Sonnenshein emphasised that the transition comes at a pivotal moment for the crypto asset class, signalling the need for a smooth leadership transition.

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