Citibank’s David Bailin believes Bitcoin will do well because of the huge interest shown by investors. While the manager realizes that cryptocurrency can be part of a portfolio, he sees “huge unstoppable trends” as better investment opportunities than Bitcoin.
Bitcoin “will do well,” predicts the Citi Executive
David Bailin is Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at Citi Private Bank, a subsidiary of Citigroup dedicated to serving high net worth individuals and families. He is listed as an “Wealth Expert” on Citibank’s website. Bailin spoke about Bitcoin in an interview with Yahoo Finance on Wednesday. He said:
I tell people that there is no doubt that Bitcoin will do well due to the huge amount of interest from everyone.
However, the Citi executive noted that it “terrified” him “on a fundamental basis.” Bailin joined Citi in 2009 as Global Head of Managed Investments and was promoted to Global Head of Investments in October 2017.
Bailin stated, “At Citi Private Bank and Citi Global Wealth, we really focus on this concept of centralized and opportunistic investing.” The former makes up 85% or more of total holdings in a traditional portfolio and focuses on “fundamental investing.” In the latter case, Citi customers can choose Bitcoin engagements.
The CIO of Citi Private Bank warned:
To get that exposure to Bitcoin, any of these funds or structures can be a very, very inefficient way of doing it if you don’t have the actual Bitcoin.
In January, Citi announced that it had created a single wealth management organization, Citi Global Wealth, that will bring together wealth management teams in Global Consumer Banking (GCB) and Institutional Clients Group (ICG).
CIO is looking for ways to raise customer awareness of Bitcoin, but sees better opportunities elsewhere
Bailin said he was looking for ways to offer its customers exposure to Bitcoin, including a “total return swap” that could allow customers to “invest in the price increase of actual digital currency.” He said, “I think that’s probably the most efficient way of doing this.”
Citibank’s wealth expert added that while Bitcoin was the talk of the town, he saw better opportunities for Citi customers in “unstoppable trends” like big data, satellite technology, solar and more. The CIO said:
These kind of huge unstoppable trends, as we call them, are really wonderful investment opportunities that are likely to be a lot better than Bitcoin in the long run, or definitely in the long run, in my view.
He added that with these investments, “You can identify them, quantify them, find companies to hire them, and see that the size of the market we are talking about is extraordinary.”
Earlier this month, Citigroup released an in-depth report that found Bitcoin was at a tipping point and could become the currency of choice for international trade. “We could be at the beginning of a massive mainstream conversion of cryptocurrency,” the company wrote.
What do you think of this Citi executive’s stance on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below.
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