Singapore’s Lee Family scions make Crypto push with new funds

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Shawn Chan

Bloomberg

9th September 2022 – (Singapore) Scions from two of Singapore’s most prominent families are boosting their involvement in digital assets.

Whampoa Group, a multi-family office anchored by principals from the Lee family that founded Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. and Amy Lee, the niece of the city-state’s founding prime minister, wants to spin out its asset-management business for digital investments. It plans to raise US$50 million for a crypto-related hedge fund, and is seeking to deployUS $100 million for a venture-capital fund in the same space, Whampoa co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Shawn Chan said in an interview. 

Family offices tend to be less regulated than standard firms and are among the bigger players that have been looking to get into alternative investments. In Singapore, the wealthy in particular have been embracing tokens, helping propel Bitcoin trading at DBS Group Holdings Ltd.’s digital exchange that serves institutional investors and family offices. 

At the same time, however, the country’s authorities have repeatedly discouraged retail investors from betting on crypto, a space that’s been particularly volatile. Bitcoin has tanked by more than two-thirds after a years-long rally took it to a peak in November.

The Whampoa hedge fund is market-neutral in order to offset cryptocurrencies’ volatility, Chan said. It primarily trades Bitcoin and Ether, and occasionally other tokens when it identifies a favourable risk-reward setup. 

As for the VC fund, Whampoa is looking for strategic partners. It has been speaking with regional family offices and some big Chinese internet companies, Chan said.

— With assistance by Joanna Ossinger, and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen

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