Introducing the Hodl Team: Dirk Jan Schuld


Over the past three years, Hodl has grown significantly as a brand and correspondingly, our team has also considerably expanded. The team of Hodl consists of 25+ team members with all different backgrounds and experiences, all story worthy, however, we want to highlight a few key members who made Hodl as we know Hodl today. The third individual in this series is our Chief Performance Officer: Dirk-Jan (DJ) Schuld.

During the past 25 years, DJ has worked at Lloyd's Register, a leading provider of classification, compliance and consulting services to the marine and offshore industries. Throughout his tenure, his last position was Global Technology Director, focusing primarily on Asset Management (AM) in the Middle East and Asian markets.

DJ's involvement in AM can be categorized into three key areas: risk management, line of sight, and data management. Among these, data management posed the most significant challenge as the data was dispersed across multiple servers and departments. To address this issue, the firm explored industrial solutions leveraging blockchain applications. The objective was to establish a unified and immutable database, facilitating streamlined operations.

Eventually DJ set his eyes on the digital asset industry, which subsequently led to him joining Hodl. When DJ started at Hodl, the firm was only active in the Netherlands and DJ contributed massively to the success of Hodl’s international expansion. We would like to dive deeper into his daily operations and how he sees the future of Hodl.

Interview with our CPO, DJ Schuld

What are you involved with as Chief Performance Officer within Hodl?

As a business, you have two distinct divisions: the human side, which includes employees, clients, ambassadors, and so on; and the financial side, where you evaluate cost-effectiveness, revenue generation, and identify areas for improvement. These two aspects are closely intertwined, yet many organizations tend to overlook or neglect their interconnectedness. Consequently, these organizations experience issues without truly grasping the root cause of the problem. However, in the case of Hodl, it's slightly different. Hodl is a complex organization that operates in a disruptive environment. Despite starting as a small organization, Hodl has grown into one of the leading digital asset firms in the Netherlands. Hodl aims to sustain this growth trajectory while ensuring the alignment between its human resources and financial operations.

This is where I come in. My focus lies on scaling the organization internationally while aligning the financial and human aspects of the company. Expanding abroad is a demanding and complex undertaking, and the collaboration of everyone is crucial for achieving success. One of my initial priorities was structuring Hodl, with the Rotterdam office serving as the core of the firm. Building upon that foundation, we have efficiently scaled the organization, resulting in the establishment of various investment funds in Spain, Luxembourg, and Gibraltar covering two regulated funds.

Now that we have firmly established our presence in Europe, we are extending our expansion efforts into the Middle East and Asia, where I see immense opportunities ahead. These achievements primarily pertain to financial and operational aspects. However, throughout this process, a greater emphasis is placed on the human element, such as incentivizing the right individuals, ensuring a shared end goal among all, and, most importantly, involving everyone in this journey.

During the coming years, what are your expectations for Hodl?

I have observed that Hodl has tremendous potential to become the leading fund in Europe. Over the past years, a perfect storm has been slowly brewing. Even before attracting new talent and experienced professionals to the organization, Hodl emerged as the best-performing digital asset fund in the Netherlands. Now, with regulatory developments in the US, such as the SEC's actions against Binance and Coinbase, the regulatory landscape in the US is becoming less appealing. Meanwhile, in Europe, we are moving in the right direction with the Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation, which will offer the necessary regulatory clarity. With clear regulations in place, the establishment of new partnerships, and the addition of new team members, I firmly believe that Hodl will become the leading and top-performing digital asset fund in Europe. Our aim is to achieve this by cultivating a comprehensive international client base. The funds we offer are diligently regulated, granting us the ability to access and capitalize on diverse economic zones.

Quote DJ Schuld regarding the future of Hodl and its expansion

In my opinion, the ultimate goal is for Hodl to become a multi-billion dollar investment fund, and we aim to achieve this with a skilled team based in the Netherlands. Our office in Rotterdam will operate as a service delivery office to all our established funds in Europe. I envision a dedicated team with best-in-class researchers, traders, fund managers, investment strategists and quantitative analysts to serve our international client base. This team would include a robust sales department that supports our ambassadors across different economic zones. These two divisions should be complemented by a strong marketing team that effectively communicates the vision and mission of Hodl, ensuring a consistent message and how and why Hodl is the leading digital asset fund.

Currently, the Hodl Group is in the final stages of building its foundation, which involves attracting talented professionals with extensive knowledge of the market. Once we are done with this process, we will be fully prepared to execute our mission to become the leading and best performing digital asset fund.

Hodl has currently been expanding through Europe and you are also looking at the Middle East and Asia. Can you tell me more about the move towards these regions?

Yes, of course. Over a year ago, I began exploring our old network since I had previously worked closely within Middle East and Asian markets. As I reached out and introduced them to Hodl, after just one phone call, the appointments started flooding in. This was a clear indication to me that these markets have something significant to offer. Firstly, both the Middle East and Asia are highly crypto-friendly, as it embraces aspects of the financial system that are currently predominantly Western-focused. Moreover, both economic zones recognize the diverse opportunities presented by digital assets and actively seek to attract cryptocurrency organizations.

However, navigating through these markets can be challenging due to the vast cultural differences among countries. While Europe also has cultural variations, there is greater alignment across different cultures. For newcomers in these markets, misunderstandings or miscommunications are more likely to occur. To address this, we came up with the idea of working with ambassadors. They possess a deep understanding of the culture, history, and customs, which significantly shortens our communication channels.

A couple of months ago, we took our first step in Asia by organizing a special event in Phuket, Thailand, in collaboration with D-Central, a decentralized bespoke consulting firm. During this event, we had engaging conversations and shared laughter with remarkable individuals operating in diverse fields for investments such as real estate, space mining, and pharmaceuticals. The event turned out to be a tremendous success, providing us with a clear direction for our operations in Asia.

DJ Schuld vision of Hodl's future regarding the Middle East and Asia

In parallel, we have now rolled out plans to replicate this concept in the Middle East. Our first focus is building a robust investor network, once we have accomplished that, we will set up the two inflow offices. These offices will be established in South East Asia and another in the Middle East. These offices will serve as a single point of contact through which individuals, single family offices, multiple family offices and eventually institutions, can access the Hodl Funds. Furthermore, the client base can experience workshops, discuss performance of funds, account management and of course reach out if there are questions regarding investments.

Our primary fund management and operational activities will remain centered in Europe, acting as a solid foundation on which we will build our launching pad for future endeavors. The two regulated funds in Gibraltar are pivotal for our expansion as most (international) investors have no other options than investing in a regulated investment vehicle, especially regarding digital assets. Another interesting region to explore is North Asia, we already notice that interest in digital assets is increasing and that opportunities are growing. However, operating there would require a local presence, thus, we are exploring our options. As we continue to scale, we aim to maintain a balanced approach and focus on the long-term strategy and most importantly, the wishes and needs of our client base.

Are there developments within Hodl you would like to highlight?

Yes, there is one thing I would like to share, our transformation to the Hodl Group. As aforementioned, Hodl started as a small digital asset firm and quickly grew into the international scene. Due to this incredible growth, we have diversified the organization into three divisions: Hodl Funds, Hodl Research and Hodl Ventures. Hodl Group is the umbrella brand of all divisions, embracing an international name which isn’t solely focussed on the Dutch market.

With the Hodl Funds we are able to provide international investors to the emerging digital asset industry with a diversified and carefully selected portfolio. The second division, Hodl Research, is established to share our knowledge and expertise and that we envision that data and insights should flow freely to empower growth and adoption of digital assets.

The latest and final addition is Hodl Ventures, we are currently working on a regulated fund in Gibraltar which will grant investors access to the latest innovative and emerging technologies in the industry. When this is finalized, the Hodl Group will offer a comprehensive portfolio of digital assets which suits all the different needs of our client base.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed about the developments in Hodl and the team.