Union Investment’s trading head Hock steps away from role to pursue digital asset aspirations

Hock has been with Union Investment for almost 10 years, most recently as its head of multi-asset trading, and will now help build out the asset manager’s digital assets remit.

Union Investment’s Christoph Hock is set to step away from his role as head of multi-asset trading later this year to pursue an opportunity in digital assets and tokenisation within the asset management firm, The TRADE can reveal.

Union is bolstering its digital assets division, The TRADE understands. His new role is not yet public but will be communicated in due course.

“He [Hock] will be responsible to new important tasks within the Union Investment Group that deal with strategic issues surrounding future topics such as the token economy, digital assets and data science,” said a spokesperson for Union Investment’s asset management division. Hock declined to comment.

Hock has long been an advocate for institutional adoption of digital assets, confirming at TradeTech Europe 2021 that Union was exploring “the token economy” of which crypto was a part. Within plans to explore crypto-related derivatives, tokenisation and exchange-traded products, Hock added that the asset manager was preparing to trade cryptocurrencies from 2022.

Union Investment had in the previous year become the first of its kind on the continent to get involved in a public tokenised European Investment Bank (EIB) bond transaction and currently has a selected fund where it can trade one Bitcoin exchange traded note (ETN).

Hock originally joined Union in 2014 and has since been instrumental in the development of the firm’s trading strategy and structure.

In 2015, the European asset manager unified its trading teams under one multi-asset trading desk as part of a strategic review, aimed at executing a greater percentage of orders sent by portfolio managers.

Union underwent another makeover in 2021, taking on a new hybrid organisational structure that divided this central trading desk into three teams, with his traders filtered by execution type.

Prior to joining Union, Hock previously spent three years at Barclays as head of equity execution sales, four years at Tungsten Capital Management as head of portfolio trading and management, and two and a half years at Ferox Capital Management in a similar role.

Previously in his career, he also spent nearly seven years at JP Morgan Securities as head of European basket trading and later as its head of relative value proprietary desk, and six years at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson in equities roles.