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Cowen Prime Services LLC – Best Global Prime Broker

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Cowen Prime Services LLC continues to attract established institutional-quality hedge fund managers as well as start-ups and emerging managers. This is thanks to its ability to provide managers with the financial stability of a large bank as the counterparty in tandem with a service offering that provides tailored solutions. 

Cowen Prime’s clients can choose to use outsourced middle-and back-office support as well as outsourced trading to limit their infrastructure spend, and when one factors in that all the usual prime brokerage services – trade execution and clearing, securities lending, financing, research and capital introduction – are also part of the package, it is easy to appreciate why Cowen Prime Services is leading the way in the boutique prime space.

“Everyone is focused on being as productive as possible, whilst at the same time maintaining the highest standards of care. By outsourcing trading and financial reporting, for example, to a firm like ours, investment managers are able to achieve that,” says Mike Rosen (pictured), Global Co-Head of Prime Brokerage, Cowen Prime Services.

He says that the past year was an important period for Cowen Prime Services to do the groundwork from a technology capability perspective to provide a much larger, more institutionally orientated business, “as evidenced by the type of clients we are now onboarding. We continue to onboard new business in London and we have a meaningful pipeline that we are currently working through”. 

“Outsourced trading clients are treated in a similar manner to our PB clients. We provide operational support and full shadow accounting and reconciliation, which are being well received as they are a necessary requirement for a lot of fund managers. We have the ability to provide them with the capabilities that make them institutionally sound and more acceptable to large allocators,” says Rosen. 

Jack Seibald, fellow Global Co-Head of Prime Brokerage at Cowen Prime Services, points out that recently the firm has been focusing on doing things slightly differently with respect to the capital introduction events it organises in New York and other regional centres: “We just hosted one such event in New York, which was a little different in that we decided to highlight not just the mangers we had selected, but also the research talent at Cowen in the sectors that those managers trade in. The managers who presented operate in three industry sectors – healthcare, energy and TMT. Our researchers contributed to the panel discussions specific to the issues driving investments in those sectors. We thought doing such an event for institutional allocators would give them a different insight into how each manager thinks about investing in their respective sector.”

The background that Seibald and Rosen share as former portfolio managers, added to the fact that Brett Yarkon, Cowen Prime’s Head of Capital Introduction, was formerly an allocator for a large institutional investor, “helps us to differentiate the capital introduction process from others in the marketplace,” comments Seibald.

He confirms that the team sees a disproportionate number of sector specialists when pitching for new business, “either for our PB business or our outsourced trading business. That’s fine though. Having a tailored offering for those managers continues to work for them and us,” says Seibald.

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