Cowen Prime Services offers a comprehensive suite of brokerage and related services that provide investment managers with solutions that are customizable and scalable. The firm was built by former investment managers to serve hedge fund managers, managed account platforms, institutional investors, family offices, and registered investment advisors with turn-key solutions designed to free our clients to focus on their core competencies. Our offering features:

  • •   World-class custody and clearing options
  • •  Multi asset class capabilities
  • •  Leading execution and order management systems
  • •  A seasoned execution desk
  • •  A range of financing options
  • •  A highly professional operations and customer support team
  • •  Comprehensive portfolio reporting capabilities
  • •  Capital introduction
  • •  Live, intraday, and post-trade risk and performance analytics solutions

The firm employs a staff of more than 70 in multiple offices, and serves several hundred investment managers who invest assets across a variety of structures, including hedge funds, managed accounts and liquid alternatives.

To request additional information about Cowen Prime Services' offering, please contact us at

Clients select preferred execution management solution

Cowen Prime Services strongly believes in providing our clients the opportunity to trade in the manner in which they’ve become accustomed to. The EMSs we have integrated complement our clients’ needs, and our agency and specialized trading desks in a variety of asset classes provide an additional option. Trading technology platforms include both broker neutral and broker specific applications. Our experienced outsourced trading desk offers our clients another, more hands-on alternative to meet their trading needs.

• Neovest
• Knight
• LiquidityBook
• RealTick
• Silexx Financial Systems

Outsourced Trading Desk
Cowen Prime Services can serve its clients by providing a high touch, complete outsourced trading solution or supplement an existing trading operation. Our outsourced trading solution adds exceptional value through our experienced traders and their support staff who serve as partners to our clients, whether executing through our broker-dealer or managing the account opening and order execution process through client selected away brokers. This centralized approach focuses on the clients’ needs, and provides consistency and continuity. Cowen Prime Services’ agency-only model aligns the firm’s interests with those of our clients, and is never in conflict as may be the case when dealing with the major wire houses and market makers who trade for their own account as well.

Clients benefit from a variety of financing options and efficient short term borrowing.

Portfolio Financing - Cowen Prime Services’ offering provides our clients with a variety of portfolio financing options. These options will depend on specific investment strategies, asset classes, gross and net exposures, and other considerations. Financing options range from traditional Reg T (initial 50% margin) accounts, to those with varying degrees of enhanced leverage, including full Portfolio Margining (15% margin). The firm’s experienced client service personnel works with clients and the clearing firms to optimize account financing using internal risk tools.

Stock Loan - Short sales of easy-to-borrow securities is facilitated by electronic approvals through the various execution systems, and the firm’s client support staff works diligently and efficiently to locate hard-to-borrow securities through each of our clearing firms.

Fully Paid For Stock Loan - Our client service team also reviews client accounts daily in search of fully paid for securities that are designated as hard-to-borrow and will attempt to facilitate lending of such securities on behalf of clients by the respective clearing firms, allowing clients to earn incremental returns on their holdings.

We view ourselves as partners to our clients

At Cowen Prime Services we understand that our clients are principally focused on making the investment and trading decisions for their client assets, and that they depend on us to deal with the administrative and operational matters related to their account. The firm prides itself on being client-driven, and aims to provide our clients with a level of comfort that they have a capable team supporting their business.

New Account On-Boarding - Our team of seasoned professionals can provide advice on how best to execute a new fund launch and to grow an investment management business, as well as accommodate the efficient on-boarding of new client accounts, and provide trading, middle and back office, operational and technology solutions.

Operational Support and Portfolio Reconciliation - Our operations and support team assists clients with all post-trade activities including clearance and settlement, incoming and outgoing wire transfers, and portfolio report preparation. This includes security level reconciliation for realized and unrealized P/L and position quantities, and the delivery of portfolio accounting reports via the Cowen Prime Services secure web portal and/or automated e-mails. All client account data maintained will be made readily available for enhanced portfolio and/or risk analytics and reporting, should those be contracted for separately. Our team also interacts with custodians, away executing brokers, fund administrators, and auditors, as necessary, on behalf of client accounts.

Efficient soft dollar process with complete audit trail – Our team can implement and administer a soft dollar program for clients to pay for research and brokerage related expenses. A soft dollar program is subject to the execution of a Directed Brokerage Agreement and a review by the firm’s supervisory and compliance personnel of the fund’s governing documents to confirm the use of commissions for the payment of certain fund and/or investment manager expenses. We provide clients with password-protected access to the firm’s soft dollar portal, which maintains an electronic audit trail of all activity in the account, and allows the client to electronically submit invoices for payment, monitor payment activity, track balances, and produce management reports.

Comprehensive portfolio reporting is a key differentiator

Cowen Prime Services offers our clients comprehensive portfolio reporting and analytics that includes post-trade as well as live intraday solutions. Our reporting solution combines portfolio accounting with performance analytics, and offers a hosted data management solution designed to capture, process, reconcile, and store vast amounts of information. It further integrates multiple data sources, including order management, global custodian, administrator, accounting, and custom data, to real-time and end-of-day risk portfolio analytics and reconciliation services, and supports global, multi-asset, multi-currency portfolio reporting with the use of Advent Geneva and our real-time portfolio and risk management system. All client account data maintained will be readily available for enhanced portfolio and/or risk analytics and reporting services, should those be contracted for separately.

Post-Trade Reporting and Analytics – Portfolio reports are delivered via our proprietary, web-based client portal that provides clients the ability to view their portfolio(s) with all account data collected from all custodians, EMS/OMS systems utilized, and other data providers. Client data is aggregated, normalized, and reconciled to cash and security positions utilizing Advent/Geneva, with the end result being a comprehensive, fully customizable, easy to use client tool to access an extensive selection of portfolio reports or have them delivered via automated e-mails. The portal further allows clients to analyze their portfolios more thoroughly so as to better understand the results of their investment/trading activity.

Real-time Portfolio and Risk Management System – Our proprietary real-time tool allows clients, to monitor their account’s performance, exposure, and risk at the portfolio level and down to the individual security. The system starts with the reconciled beginning-of-day portfolio delivered from the firm’s reconciliation and reporting systems and integrates data from the client’s trade execution systems to perform real-time calculations on performance, exposure, and risk based on user-defined combinations of criteria, sorting and grouping.

Making relevant introductions between hedge fund managers and investors

We view capital introduction as a serious reputational commitment by our firm and approach the effort from the investor’s perspective. We focus on the investment merits of each manager, and make every effort to understand their investment strategies, operational capabilities, and performance track record before agreeing to introduce them to allocators.

Benefit To Managers - As a number of the principals of our firm have extensive experience managing hedge funds, investing with hedge funds, managing risk and manager allocations, and analyzing portfolio returns, we believe we are well qualified to advise investment managers in developing their capital raising effort. We work to gain a clear understanding of our client’s investment strategy, goals, and objectives, which allows us to conduct a consultative approach to capital development, including providing assistance in assessing our client’s marketing materials, critiquing their investment presentations, preparing them for investor meetings, and opining on their overall marketing strategy.

Benefit To Allocators - We believe we are in somewhat of a unique position as we serve a large number of managers through our prime brokerage unit and have a great degree of transparency into their performance and risk characteristics. We also have an opportunity to review a number of emerging and established managers on a regular basis who are introduced by our prime brokerage sales team or seek us out to potentially provide specific services, be it outsourced trading, portfolio and risk reporting, or outsourced middle and back office services.

Targeted Introductions – Our team maintains a regular dialog with the firm’s allocator contacts and works to gain insights about their experience with managers and the needs they need to fill. Armed with such information, we set out to search for managers whose strategies and return profiles match these needs from among the managers in our database, and arrange for one-on-one meetings.

Investor Meetings – Cowen Prime Services regularly hosts investor meetings at which managers have an opportunity to discuss their investment strategies and return profiles, and respond to inquiries from allocators. These events vary and may feature 2 or 3 investment managers at a time who are each allotted 30-45 minutes to address and engage with an audience of typically 40-50 qualified institutional investors, or a group of 7-8 managers in a roundtable format that accommodates over a several hour time frame a more intimate discussion on a rotating basis with a handful of investors.

Managed Account Platform - SMA structures are increasingly being deployed as a means for institutional investors to retain control of their capital and, through complete transparency, gain insight into the underlying managers and the portfolios they invest. Cowen Prime Services Managed Account Solution provides investors with a seamless, turnkey platform that facilitates the allocation of capital to portfolio managers through a fully transparent, self-directed managed account program. Our solution is designed to help investors source managers and deploy an affordable & scalable infrastructure, and to facilitate the growth of their business with streamlined operational efficiencies and effective risk mitigation capabilities. With an integrated front to back technology offering, including risk management, brokerage services, and outsourced middle/back office services, the Cowen Prime Services Managed Account Solution can mold the offering to best fit each client’s specific needs.

Providing useful informationand guidance based on extensive experience with hedge funds

Our prime brokerage sales group has always functioned in a consulting capacity, helping managers to understand what’s involved in launching a fund and managing its growth. This is perhaps the most important service we can provide as it sets an appropriate expectation level with prospective clients. It also allows us to showcase our extensive knowledge of the hedge fund space and the comprehensive range of services we can offer clients. We have developed pre-launch ’how to’ booklets and spread sheets that managers find particularly helpful. We have helped hundreds of managers successfully launch new funds over the years, and remain available throughout the relationship to provide advice on growth options, new hires, seed investor opportunities, and other such issues that arise.

Investment managers have access to various middle and back office services to facilitate their workflow requirements and portfolio management needs.

Portfolio and Risk Analytics – These include but are not limited to a complete suite of accounting and portfolio appraisal reports in addition to select risk reports. The suite of reports includes:

• Exposure reporting
• P&L time series analysis
• Attribution analysis
• Investment strategy allocation
• Stress testing
• Limit exception monitoring

Middle Office Support – These services begin with an overview of a firm’s administrative systems and processes and end with a roadmap showing how to boost efficiency, accuracy, and transparency across an enterprise’s entire workflow. In addition to analyzing workflow processes, the solution offers the following related value-added services:

• Trade capture and reconciliation, P&L, performance measurement, confirmation of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives trades, and management of reference and corporate actions data
• Post trade but pre-settlement activities including trade processing/support (confirmation and allocation), position and trade reconciliation
• Establish and manage relationship with fund administrator for daily, monthly and annual reporting
• Selection and implementation of all internal systems including portfolio management, accounting, trading and risk management
• Development of reporting systems for internal and external distribution, including shadow books and records

Client assets held at major financial institutions; client service provided by Cowen Prime Services

Cowen Prime Services is an introducing broker to, and has correspondent clearing agreements with, the financial institutions listed below, providing our clients the opportunity to custody the funds they manage at one or more of these world renowned firms. With client accounts held on the books of these institutions, the respective banks are the counterparty. Cowen Prime Services, as the introducing broker, provides all of the other prime brokerage services and serves as the single point of contact for the client.

US Equities, Options and Bonds; International Equities and Bonds

  • Pershing LLC, a subsidiary of Bank of New York Mellon
  • Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (Broadcort)
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services, LLC

US Equities and Options

  • Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp.


  • ADM Investor Services, Inc.
  • SG Americas Securities, LLC.