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Three Arrows Capital: A Crypto Hedge Fund Failure and Operational Due Diligence Lessons

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This case explores the downfall of crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital (3AC), illustrating the critical role of operational due diligence (ODD). Established in 2012 by Su Zhu and Kyle Davies, 3AC's swift shift from forex to cryptocurrencies led to rapid success, marked by opulence and influence. However, in 2022, the fund collapsed due to mishandling, governance failures, and compliance missteps.

Students assume the role of Vera-Maria, head of ODD at a fund of funds (FoF), tasked with investigating the 3AC collapse. The FoF, contemplating investments in crypto hedge funds, is wary of digital asset risks post-3AC's collapse. Vera-Maria aims to extract lessons and craft an ODD framework to mitigate risks in future digital asset investments.

The case delves into the 3AC collapse's causes, offering students insights into institutional best practices. It equips them to navigate the digital asset space, and identify and mitigate counterparty risks, fostering a comprehensive understanding of ODD in the context of crypto hedge funds.

Learning Objective:

Students will learn to:

1. Identify crypto hedge fund types.

2. Define crypto hedge funds' role in digital asset ecosystems.

3. Analyze 3AC collapse causes and ODD red flags in crypto investments.

4. Conduct ODD for native digital asset firms as institutional investors.

5. Propose actions to mitigate counterparty risk in crypto investments.

Year of Publication: 2023
Ref. No.: 23/778C
Discipline: Finance & Investments
Industry: Banks & Diversified Financials
Country: N/A
Company: Three Arrows Capital
Languages: English
Pages of Text: 8