The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), a pension fund created by statue that handles net investment assets of $50 billion serving almost 500,000 members, is to directly buy eth by backing a newly formed company called Ethereum Capital through its investments arm.
Ethereum Capital was created by OMERS, alongside Purpose Investments in which OMERS has a minority share, an OMERS-backed startup called Citizen Hex and L4 Ventures, a Toronto blockchain incubator advised by Vitalik Buterin, ethereum’s co-founder.
John Ruffolo, Executive Managing Director of OMERS Platform Investments and Board Director for Ethereum Capital, said:
“OMERS has been active in the blockchain and crypto sector for several years now. OMERS believes in the potential of blockchain technologies and I am thrilled to join a strong network of advisors as Ethereum Capital creates value in the sector.”
Ethereum Capital’s strategy is to buy eth itself, and to engage in strategic acquisitions of ethereum based businesses according to a statement.
Omers’ Ruffolo said this is “not currency speculation.” Instead they are investing on the “underlying entrepreneurial businesses,” before further adding:
“We believe in the long-term future of the blockchain as the technology that will be underpinning business and we are optimistic about the technologies associated with it.
We believe Ethereum is going to be one of the foundational building blocks” in the blockchain space.
Ethereum Capital has reverse acquired a stale but publicly listed company called Movit Media Corp. through a transition agreement whereby Ethereum Capital is to complete a private placement offering of 20 million subscription receipts at a price of $2.50 per subscription, co-led by Canaccord Genuity and CIBC Capital Markets.
Their website is currently barren where they express ambition to be the central investment hub for the ethereum ecosystem. A fairly crowded place where they might find quite a bit of competition.
But this is the only known instance of a pension fund so directly buying cryptocurrencies, as well as seemingly more fully involving in this space through strategic acquisitions, presumably as a plan to diversify their holdings and thus increase return on investments for their members.