From MF Wholesaler to Quant Crypto Investing Entrepreneur
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Monday, July 12, 2021

From MF Wholesaler to Quant Crypto Investing Entrepreneur

A mutual fund distribution executive in Oregon has teamed up to launch his own quant cryptocurrency investing shop.

John Richard "Jack" Shepherd III
Leavenworth Capital, Inc.
Founder, CEO
Today Jack Shepherd and Ranjan Grover unveil their new firm, Leavenworth Capital, Inc.. The asset manager, based outside Portland in Lake Oswego, is offering separately managed accounts (SMAs) to FAs, RIAs, and individual investors, as well as institutions.

Shepherd, a former MF wholesaler, is Leavenworth's founder and CEO, while Grover, a former Intel data scientist, serves as chief investment officer and portfolio manager.

Shepherd puts the launch of Leavenworth in the context of the recent broadening of cryptocurrency investing, which has "an extremely low correlation with other asset classes."

"Crypto has really gone from almost a novelty, momentum-type investment opportunity to an institutional investment opportunity almost overnight," Shepherds tells MFWire.

The Leavenworth folks are specifically offering their strategy in SMAs, not in mutual funds or other pooled structures. That is a purposeful choice, according to Shepherd.

"This is the best product type for the crypto space. Clients actually own the underlying assets, which is extremely important," Shepherd says. "There's a common phrase in the crypto space: 'not your keys, not your coins.'"

For their strategy, the Leavenworth folks start with a universe of about 4,000 traded digital assets, then use a quantitative process to pare that down to about 32 cryptocurrencies, Shephered says. From there, they use fundamental technical analysis and research to focus in on a list of 10 cryptocurrencies, then weight them according to their conviction. Of course, since it's in SMA form, they also can tweak the strategy for each client.

Shepherd most recently worked as a private wealth advisor at Raymond James. Prior to that, he worked as a mutual fund wholesaler at Transamerica and Jensen. Earlier, he worked at Deutsche Bank, ING, and Thornburg. He is an alumnus of the University of Arizona.

Grover joined Intel back in 2008 and has since served in a variety of engineering roles. Earlier, he served as a research scientist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is an alumnus of Rutgers University, the University of Mumbai, and (like Shepherd) the University of Arizona.

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