Q3 2021 Investor Update

We are pleased to share our Q3 2021 Ascendant update. 

As always, if you would like to discuss any of this material in detail, please reach out to Erik or Chris to arrange a conversation.

Company Update

The board of directors of the Company have approved an annual share offering and buyback program. This program was created to provide our investors the opportunity on an annual basis to purchase additional shares or sell some of their shares based on the Company’s December 31 Net Asset Value (NAV). 

Please email our investor relations mailbox at ir@ascendant.ky if you would like to subscribe or sell any of your shares based on the December 31, 2021 NAV. We will then provide you with the subscription document or redemption document. Please note that you will need to complete the subscription document or redemption document and return it by no later than December 20th, 2021 in order for it to be accepted and processed.

Lastly, we believe our biggest opportunity to increase long-term shareholder value is to focus on transitioning our traditional reinsurance company into a digital focused reinsurance company. We will continue to execute our Fund’s digital asset strategy, which has created significant returns, but we will pivot our reinsurance company to become more digitized by focusing on three strategies:

1. Allocating part of our reinsurance reserve assets to digital assets. Currently all of reinsurance reserves are in traditional assets.
2. Work with our counterparty to create an annuity product that has exposure to digital assets.
3. Develop annuity products that are settled on the blockchain.

We are currently working on strategies 1 and 2 and are hopeful to have regulatory approval for the first strategy before the end of Q1 2021. The third strategy is a longer term strategy, which we will focus on after the first and second strategy are implemented. We think these strategies will create significant shareholder value and we are excited about pursuing them. We will keep you updated on our progress.

Operational Update

Grant Thornton Cayman has been retained to perform our December 31 2021 audit. This will be our second audit with Grant Thornton. We have been focusing on improving our delivery of information and processes to ensure an earlier sign-off for the December 31, 2021 financial statements. We are expecting our audit to be completed in May this year; whereas last year it was completed on June 30.

We have been holding strategy sessions with some of our board members to develop short and long-term plans for Ascendant Re. In our strategy session we identified digital strategies as being the key area to drive shareholder profit and growth for the Company. We are focused on being very profitable and driving long term value creation. We will not engage in any strategy/activity that requires a significant upfront cost with unknown payoffs.

Our near term strategy to raise capital will be from our current investors with our annual share purchase program and we will go back to our network of high net-worth individuals to raise capital based on our December 31, 2021 NAV. In the new year we will focus on developing and executing on a strategy to raise additional capital. We believe our focus on becoming one of the first digitized reinsurance companies and our past performance will resonate well.

Digital Assets Market News and Thoughts

The crypto currency market has been volatile but has generally been climbing from the end of Q2 2021 into Q3 2021. The market has seen some dramatic gains in October. Bitcoin reached an all time high of $69,044 on November 10, 2021. On the same day, Ethereum put in an all time high of $4,878. The crypto currency market remains highly correlated; when Bitcoin moves up or down the rest of the market follows the same path to a large extent. The below charts show the Bitcoin performance YTD and a common crypto index CMC 200 performance YTD. Visually it’s very easy to spot the high degree of correlation between Bitcoin and the broader crypto market.

Given the high degree of correlation, when we evaluate other potential cryptocurrencies, we measure their performance against Bitcoin and Ethereum. Generally, if a particular cryptocurrency does not have historical performance that has outperformed Bitcoin and/or Ethereum, then we don’t think allocating away from Bitcoin and/or Ethereum makes sense. In our last update we noted we believed NFTs projects would start to outperform. We made a smaller allocation into a range of NFT related projects through the MVI token. We started our first buy and purchased MVI at $52.25 on July 12, 2021. MVI now currently trades at over $300 per token. This market moves very quickly.

There were many notable events impacting the crypto currency industry during Q3 2021. The broad themes, as illustrated through the bullet points below, include more traditional firms increasingly getting involved with digital assets, NFT platforms and investment in NFT protocols accelerated significantly, crypto currency exchanges mainstreaming crypto by signing endorsement deals with A list athletes and purchasing naming rights to sporting stadiums. Listed below are some of the more notable crypto events that took place during Q3:

  • AngelList (popular venture investing platform) enables USDC stablecoin Funding
  • Second Largest US Mortgage Lender United Wholesale Mortgage to Accept Crypto Payments This Year
  • Paul Tudor Jones to Launch Digital Disruption Hedge Fund
  • Dan Tapiero’s Fund 10T Holdings Announces $750mm Raise
  • JPM and Wells Fargo Private Wealth Management Both Begin Offering Crypto
  • Galaxy Digital Launches Crypto Fund of Funds Backed by Franklin Templeton
  • Sorare (an NFT platform) Receives $680mm Investment Led by SoftBank
  • NFT Platform OpenSea Raises $100mm on $1.5bn Valuation
  • Dapper Labs (an NFT protocol) Raises Another $250mm
  • MasterCard Acquires Crypto Analytics Firm CypherTrace
  • Visa Says Crypto-linked Card Usage Topped $1bn during the first half of 2021
  • Audius, a decentralized music NFT protocol, receives Investment from Katy Perry, Nas, Steve Aoki and Chainsmokers 
  • FTX (popular crypto currency exchange) Signs Ambassador Partnership with Steph Curry
  • State Street to Offer Fund Administration Services to Crypto Funds
  • Walmart Hiring For “Cryptocurrency Lead” Position
  • Square, a popular payment processor Point of Sale provider, rebrands to Block as it increases its emphasis on crypto

Current SPV Portfolio

As of September 30, 2021 our digital asset SPV Fund had net assets of $42,864,826. The below provides a summary of our overall digital asset portfolio broken-down by liquid ($13,183,558) and private portfolio ($29,681,268): 

Digital Asset liquid/illiquid allocation:

Reinsurance Update

Our current book yield is 5.96%, net of management fees, while our cost of capital is 4.9%. This provides our reinsurance company with a 1.0% positive spread on our cost of capital. Our portfolio is leveraged approximately 10x, as a result the 1.0% spread equates to a 10.0% return. We continue to see very good yielding opportunities in residential mortgages and private credit markets in the United States that have yields between 7.0% – 9.0%. 

As you will see from our portfolio allocation below, 58% of the portfolio is now made up of single issuer private debt and mortgages. As noted above, we are working to add digital assets (e.g. Bitcoin) once it is an admitted asset for reinsurance purposes. This will effectively allow us to add additional premium and the purchase of assets without adding capital to our reinsurance business. This would create additional return, without any additional capital added. We are working with legal counsel in the US that have been successful with other insurance companies in getting approval from the regulators for digital assets to be treated as an admitted asset.

Current reinsurance holdings:

Consolidated Portfolio Asset Allocation Between Reinsurance and Digital Assets

Current Book Value of Shares

  • Below is the unaudited book value (NAV per share) of Ascendant Preferred shares and other financial information as of September 30, 2021. We have also included our most current (November 29, 2021) Preferred Share information. 

Performance since inception: 

  • Ascendant Preferred Shares Book value as of
    • September 30, 2021: $2,598.36 
    • November 29, 2021: $3,291.68 (latest available)

Preferred Share Performance for each tranche issued is listed below:

i) Seed Round Preferred Shares shares issued at $1,000.00 per share: 

    • At September 30, 2021: Total Return 159.84%, Annualized Return 38.8% 
    • At November 29, 2021: Total Return 233.28%, Annualized Return 51.19%

ii) Ascendant Preferred Shares issued on January 31, 2021 at $1,666.34 per share:

    • At September 30, 2021: Total Return 55.93%, Annualized Return 71.07% 
    • At November 29, 2021: Total Return 101.04%, Annualized Return 131.12%

iii) Ascendant preferred Shares issued on February 28, 2021 at $2,190.14 per share:

    • At September 30, 2021: Total Return 18.64%, Annualized Return 25.57% 
    • At November 29, 2021: Total Return 74.94%, Annualized Return 52.17%

*** Refer to Disclosures page regarding the nature of these numbers

Other Financial Information

  • Total expenses as a percentage of AUM: 0.76%
    Includes all operating expenses (payroll, annual financial statement audit, fund admin, insurance management and director fees)
  • No management fees are charged
  • 20% of profits are allocate to management shares

Closing Thoughts

We continue to keep our capital allocation weighted towards digital assets. We believe there will continue to be high levels of volatility, as we’ve experienced since our inception, but the risk/reward profile is still attractive. We continue to monitor for signs of digital assets being overheated and we will reduce exposure when we think the risk levels become too high.

We were very proud to have closed out our first audit period ending December 31, 2021 profitably; our performance during 2021 has significantly exceeded last year. We look forward to communicating our second year of performance with you when we have our numbers finalized. 

If you have any questions please let us know by emailing our investor relations mailbox at ir@ascendant.ky. All communications going forward with regards to investor inquiries and details will be sent through our investor relations mailbox.

Erik Fell Chris Gilpin

Past Investor Updates

December 2020 Update

Our insurance business is profitable and will generate steady cash flows with a return of 13-15% based on our portfolio at November 30, 2020. Our digital asset portfolio has appreciated by 105%. We continue to view the digital asset space favorably, but expect that it will continue to be volatile.

Read More »

April 2021 Investor Update

Our insurance business is profitable and is generating steady cash flows with a return of approximately 13%. We continue to view the digital asset space favorably, but expect that it will continue to be volatile. We are very pleased to report our performance to date has provided investors with nearly a 200% return. We appreciate your support and look forward to continuing to build Ascendant.

Read More »