A look at Hehmeyer Trading + Investments's Energy Brokerage Business
“While I was familiar with digital assets my interest in the space grew when I was presented with the opportunity to start a bitcoin mining fund out of Iceland,” said Brian Tehako, Managing Director of OTC and Energy Brokerage at Hehmeyer Trading + Investments. “I didn’t raise capital for the fund but it got me on the path to learn more about energy costs incurred by crypto miners.”
Tehako started at Hehmeyer Trading + Investments in October 2018 and started an energy brokerage business at the firm. We took a few minutes to learn more about his background, his goals for the business line and his thoughts on cryptocurrencies.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Tehako came to Chicago to study Finance at DePaul.
“While I was a sophomore in college, I got a job at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) as a runner on the floor. I got a job with Bill Noyes, a man who ended up becoming my business partner and mentor later in my career,” said Tehako. “I started clerking but moved into trading Treasuries for him in the 90’s.”
Tehako was one of the first to trade electronically on the Eurex Exchange.
“I was spreading on Project A, which was CBOT’s overnight electronic system. I quickly got the hang of it and started to trade the European Bund versus the U.S. Treasury Bond,” he said. “I traded for about 15 years before I got burned out and semi-retired.”
Tehako left the trading industry and started a baseball academy.
“It’s called Rhino Academy and it’s a baseball school for 7-18 year olds,” he said. “We have about 500 players in Wisconsin and Illinois. Now that I am back in the trading space, my brother and partner run the academy.”
OTC and Energy Markets
After passing on the opportunity to launch a mining fund in Iceland, Tehako remained interested in the mining business and energy space. He did his own research connecting with experts in the industry but it was Noyes who introduced him to Chris Hehmeyer.
“I met with Chris a couple of times and we built out my idea to help OTC crypto traders with an energy brokerage business at HTI,” said Tehako.
He explained how cryptocurrencies, mining and energy costs are connected.
“The creation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is done by miners that take up a huge amounts of electricity,” said Tehako, referring to large computing boxes that solve complex problems to generate new coins. “Their capital expenditures are focused on energy and as their mines expand, so do their energy needs.”
Brought in to run Hehmeyer’s energy brokerage desk, Tehako will partner with a large brokerage firm to help miners receive better energy and electricity services. Miners pay the brokerage fees in crypto and in turn, the Hehmeyer crypto trading desk trades the crypto.
“I am interested in expanding the Hehmeyer brand and providing the best customer service I can,” said Tehako. “For the OTC counterparties, we can get out of the trade easier and cheaper than they can alone. We help them liquidate their coins and have a quicker settlement then let’s say an exchange, who has a longer time period for cash out.”
Tehako is more interested in the mining aspect of this nascent market but believes that digital assets are here to stay.
“Cryptocurrencies and blockchain are going to be around forever. It is the ‘Internet of money.’ I look back to the beginning of the Internet and how I learned to build websites and send emails,” he said. “This technology will soon be how people transact money with each other.”
He believes this is the time for us to figure out what is useful and what is not.
“We are seeing coins that have great ideas but can they get off the ground?” he asked.
In closing, Tehako believes digital assets are another way to diversify investment portfolios.
“Investors should want to get involved and dedicate a part of their portfolios to cryptocurrencies,” he said. “It is an asset class in which to invest and diversify.”
Tehako is one of many experts here at HTI. While he services the mining and energy business, this is just one of the many service offerings HTI provides in alternative markets. Check back here for more information about our robust list of innovative offerings that provide access to alpha, beta and crypto services.