EMBA alums pair to rewrite the bitcoin narrative with market-leading fund

  • September 9, 2020
  • By Kurt Greenbaum
  • 2 minute read

Two WashU Olin alums have distinguished themselves among their peers as experts in cryptocurrency investing just three years after pairing up on an industry-changing investment fund.

Brian Estes and Bill Purcell, both EMBA 2017, have been cited by two separate industry groups as the No. 1 performing fund for both a one- and three-year period. Estes founded the company, Off the Chain Capital, in 2016. After meeting at Olin, the two paired up to launch a new fund focused on cryptocurrency investing with $30 million under management and capacity for $100 million.

The pair was also featured August 11 in online trade publication Bitcoin Magazine under the headline, “With value approach, Off The Chain Capital is changing the bitcoin investment narrative.”

The pair targets high network individuals, endowments and institutions, that want exposure to digital assets—cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin—which make up a substantial portion of the fund’s investment strategy.

Very few fund managers are able to outperform bitcoin. We’re figuring that out through a unique value style. The strategy is to implement the Graham/Dodd, Warren Buffett-style of investing. We’re using that style in the digital asset space. That’s what’s unique about what we’re doing.  

Bill Purcell

Indices operated by Vision Hill Group in New York City and Hedge Fund Research Inc. have ranked Off the Chain as leaders in their space over one- and three-year investment horizons. “One of our goals is to be the best performing fund—not just in crypto but in investments in general,” Purcell said. “What we’re finding is that people aren’t copying our style because it’s been overlooked.”

Meanwhile, Fidelity recently tapped into the pair’s cryptocurrency investing expertise for a recently published bitcoin research brief. “Because bitcoin is a liquid market open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when people need liquidity, bitcoin is there to clear those trades,” Estes said for the paper. “It clears properly and offers a pure market all the time but is also accompanied by higher volatility. You have to be willing to pay that price to own such an asset.”

In the Bitcoin Magazine story, the writer notes that Purcell’s and Estes’ investment style could mitigate bitcoin’s reputation as a volatile investment asset, quoting Estes, who say, “The fund captures all of the upside and provides a cushion when the markets decline. This value style of investing gives investors a margin of safety in the portfolio.”

The story goes on to say, “As one of the best-performing funds in the space, it has shown that reliable performance and (bitcoin) can go hand in hand.”

Pictured above: Brian Estes, left, and Bill Purcell, EMBA 2017.

About the Author

Kurt Greenbaum

Kurt Greenbaum

As communications director for WashU Olin Business School, my job is to find and share great stories about our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I've worked for the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management as communications director and as a journalist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sun-Sentinel in South Florida and the Chicago Tribune.

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