The Witter Family Offices announces its investment in Silvergate Bank, in advance of the bank’s Initial Public Offering announcement. Silvergate is a provider of innovative financial infrastructure solutions and services to participants in the nascent and expanding digital currency industry. The Company filed documentation for an initial public offering on November 16, 2018, to raise up to $50 million.
Sherry Pryor Witter, Managing Partner, Co-founder and CIO of the Witter Family Offices, welcomed the opportunity to partner with Silvergate. Given the explosion of digital currencies and blockchain technology in recent years, Sherry was aware that the space was ripe for opportunity. Taking an equity stake in Silvergate was a way to invest in digital currency with less risk of the volatility often associated with the emerging technology. “We believe that finance-related technology and solutions need to continue to advance to support future economic, demographic and global changes,” Sherry said. “One area that we are looking at is crypto, not only the asset itself, but the supporting infrastructure to increase its velocity and application. We believe that Silvergate saw an opportunity to bank cryptocurrencies by providing technology solutions to exchanges and crypto companies when others only saw risk.”
Silvergate’s revenue has historically come from non-interest-bearing deposits (generally associated with its digital currency clients), which it then places into interest-earning accounts at other banks, invests and lends. As cryptocurrencies began gaining momentum in 2013, bitcoin-related clients were viewed as high-risk by most banks and few were willing to go through the process of mitigating that risk. Silvergate saw this as an opportunity and established a compliance process; by the end of 2013 it had received its first referral for a bitcoin client. As of September 30, 2018, Silvergate had approximately 500 customers in the digital currency space and $1.7 billion in non-interest-bearing deposits.
About the Witter Family Offices:
The Witter Family Offices was founded by Michael D. Witter and Sherry Pryor Witter to drive philanthropic giving and wealth generation, respectively. The group invests across investment asset classes including hedge funds, private equity, real estate, venture, commodities and fine musical instruments.
Sherry Pryor Witter, Managing Partner, Co-founder and CIO, runs the investment arm and the operations of the Witter Family Offices. Having spent over 20 years in the investment space, Sherry has developed a disciplined and strategic approach to investing, with a unique ability for finding talented managers and traders. Throughout Sherry’s career she has helped launch over 100 businesses whose esoteric and non-market correlated mandates have generated outsized returns and created employment in the multiple funds that were established. This includes seeding and partnering with entrepreneurial mathematicians, engineers, traders, portfolio managers and statisticians. Sherry is also responsible for her family’s investments in longer-duration illiquid holdings. She launched her first hedge fund upon graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, and subsequently started six other funds before establishing the Witter Family Offices with her husband, Michael D. Witter.
The Witter Family Offices is also focused on charitable giving, a mission governed by Michael D. Witter, Managing Partner and Co-founder of the Firm, as well as a grandson of Wall Street trailblazer, Dean Witter. Michael D. Witter is focused on the management of the Witter family foundations and related organizations. Michael’s philanthropic mission continues Dean Witter’s legacy of charitable giving dedicated to wildlife habitat and land conservation, while also focusing on military veteran rehabilitation, preservation of American history, and the fostering of relations between allied forces.