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Cogent releases free broker review system for hedge funds

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Cogent Consulting has released a free version of its HedgeTrak web-based broker review and evaluation service for hedge funds.

HedgeTrak Lite enables hedge funds to value trading and research services provided by their brokerage firms, in anticipation of upcoming registration requirements.

HedgeTrak Lite is being released in the wake of a new generation of hedge funds being launched, demands for increased transparency around the use of research and the commission sharing arrangements used to pay for them, and the SEC’s proposed registration requirements for hedge funds.

It is based on the full version of HedgeTrak and ResearchTrak which are used by money managers to evaluate services provided by more than 600 brokers and third party research providers worldwide.

Cogent currently supports more than 100 client sites for firms managing in excess of USD10trn.

Key features of HedgeTrak Lite include:

• Conduct one free broker review annually to determine how much to pay for research from brokers or third party providers, in line with SEC guidelines already in place for institutional money managers. Subsequent reviews are available at a nominal charge, although each year’s first annual review remains free.
• Implement rigorous and repeatable reviews, assign a score and dollar value for the services provided, and produce fully documented written reports. Brokers do not receive scorecards showing detailed results except when and if a buy-side firm explicitly emails them out.
• Reduce operational risk by removing error-prone manual steps from the review process that could lead to accidentally under- or over-paying research providers.
• Multi-currency – can be used by firms anywhere in the world.
• Compile information from up to eight traders, portfolio managers and/or analysts at each buy-side firm, making it ideal for a small, tactical review at a large firm or a full review at a smaller firm.
• Replace the need for having personnel maintain complicated home grown, error prone word processing and spreadsheet files to keep track of such information over time.
• Help determine the best methods and metrics for broker reviews.

“HedgeTrak Lite shows that managing research valuation, even for small firms, can be painless and inexpensive," says Robin Hodgkins, president and chief executive of Cogent. "The resultant broker review reports also provide hedge funds with a well documented report that shows hedge fund investors where and how their commission dollars are being allocated, and provides brokers with insight on where they need to improve service.”

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