Chief Investment Officer
Travis Kling is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Ikigai Asset Management, a L/S multi-strategy crypto asset hedge fund. Prior to founding Ikigai in 2018, Travis spent 10 years in traditional finance at leading institutional funds. He started his career as an Investment Banker at Simmons & Company in Houston, focused on Energy M&A, and completed more than $3bn in deals and capital raises. While there, he represented Noble Drilling’s $2.2bn acquisition of Frontier Drilling. Travis went on to join Magnetar Capital in Chicago in January 2011 as an Energy Analyst, investing across the capital structure in L/S equities and structured, non-control private equity and debt in the Energy sector. These structured investments included first lien debt, mezzanine debt, warrants, convertible equity, preferred equity, convertible debt, PIPEs and ORRIs.
Many of these investments were in highly illiquid or completely illiquid securities. Travis led investment efforts for all Energy IPOs, investing in over 40 IPOs during his time at Magnetar. During the nearly five years Travis was an Investor at Magnetar, his division grew from $250mm to $4.6bn in AUM. In 2012, Magnetar Energy won “Specialist Hedge Fund of The Year” from Hedge Fund Magazine.
Travis left Magnetar Capital in 2015 to join Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management in New York as a Portfolio Manager. At Point72, Travis had sole discretion over a $200mm L/S Energy and Materials equities portfolio and managed a team of two Analysts and a Trader. Travis designed, built and executed the investment framework, processes and tools to effectively cover 140 companies. Travis regularly interacted with all senior management of the $90bn AUM Point72 firm to help them architect and implement various firm-wide data science and “quantamental” initiatives. In the summer of 2017, after researching Crypto on-and-off for years, Travis began spending considerable time studying crypto assets and DLT (Decentralized Ledger Technology). He embarked on a 500+ hour self-study of the technology and its potential to affect transformative change. Travis left Point72 in early December to pursue Crypto investing full-time.
Travis was an athletic scholarship recipient and football team Captain at Blinn College his first two years in college. Travis has a Bachelor’s in Accounting and a Master’s in Finance from Texas A&M University where he graduated in 2008 with honors. During his graduate work, Travis took a keen interest in behavioral economics and game theory.