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Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein steps down, will be replaced by Goldman exec

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Grayscale CEO Michael Sonnenshein steps down, will be replaced by Goldman exec

Michael Sonnenshein at the 2022 Forbes Iconoclast Summit at New York Historical Society on Nov. 3, 2022.

Arturo Holmes | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Grayscale Investments announced that CEO Michael Sonnenshein stepped down on Monday, ending a 10-year run as the leader of the largest crypto asset manager.

He will be succeeded by Peter Mintzberg, Goldman Sachs’ global head of strategy for the asset and wealth management division, according to a press release from Grayscale.

Mintzberg, who has previously held posts related to strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and investor relations at BlackRock, OppenheimerFunds and Invesco, will take the helm on Aug. 15, the release said. Grayscale Chief Financial Officer Edward McGee will lead the organization in the interim, the company announced.

Under Sonnenshein, Grayscale played a key role in pushing the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow bitcoin ETFs. However, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) has seen more than $17 billion in outflows since converting to an ETF in January, according to FactSet, as the fund’s management fee is significantly higher than that of its competitors.

Sonnenshein joined the company in 2014 and ascended to CEO in 2021. He is moving on “to pursue other interests,” according to the statement released by the firm.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to work alongside such smart, passionate people to grow Grayscale into an industry titan over the last decade,” said Sonnenshein in a statement. “The crypto asset class is at an important inflection point and this is the right moment for a smooth transition. I wish the Grayscale team every success in its next chapter.”

In 2022, Grayscale launched a lawsuit against the SEC, after regulators turned down its bid to convert the investment vehicle into an exchange-traded fund. Last year, the court sided with Grayscale in that suit, saying the SEC was wrong to deny the firm permission to convert the trust.

The decision was a landmark victory for the crypto industry, paving the way for the approval of several new bitcoin ETFs at the beginning of this year, including those from investment giants BlackRock and Fidelity.

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