Hedge Fund Administrator Tests Prime Brokerage Waters

There was a previous press release about a hedge fund prime broker expanding its services.  We can see from the press release below that hedge fund adminsitrators are also expanding their service offerings.  I believe the reason for the expansion in the service offerings of these firms indicates a belief that the hedge fund space will continue to grow.  It also indicates that hedge fund service providers are looking to be more diversified – these service providers are looking to become one stop shops for hedge fund managers.

Conifer Securities Launches Prime Brokerage Through J.P. Morgan Chase

NEW YORK, Oct 15, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Move Comes as Hedge Funds Look for New Financing and Prime Brokerage Options

Conifer Securities, a leading provider of business and operations solutions to asset managers and institutional investors, today announced that it has entered the prime brokerage business. Working with J.P. Morgan’s Broker Dealer business services, Conifer is now building upon its Fund Administration and Outsourced Trade Execution services by offering hedge funds a full-suite of prime brokerage services including financing, securities lending, asset custody and daily account reporting. J.P. Morgan’s capital position, extensive capabilities and innovative approach stand out during the current market volatility.

The ongoing financial turmoil and growing interest in counterparty diversification have created a strong demand for additional, experienced prime brokers to step in and service hedge funds. Many hedge fund managers today want to create relationships with multiple prime brokers who can provide alternate sources of financing as well as premium service. Given its 19-year track record as a top-tier hedge fund service provider, the agreement to clear and custody with J.P. Morgan puts Conifer in a very strong position to provide managers with alternative prime brokerage and financing sources.

Conifer’s move into the prime brokerage business is being spearheaded by Richard (Dick) Del Bello, who has more than 15 years of prime brokerage experience, including seven years as the head of prime brokerage for the Americas at UBS.

“The credit crisis and subsequent market turbulence have transformed our industry as hedge funds shift assets to the most financially stable investment and commercial banks,” said Mr. Del Bello. “At the same time, some of the large prime brokers are squeezing the tails of their client rosters, eliminating hedge fund accounts that aren’t suitable for their business–and that’s where Conifer comes in.”

Jack McDonald, Conifer’s president & CEO, added, “J.P. Morgan’s prime brokerage offering is the perfect complement to Conifer’s core middle and back office business, resulting in our emergence as a leading prime broker to hedge funds. Given our existing relationships with all of the other major prime brokers, we can also service established hedge funds requiring multiple relationships by providing them with centralized reporting and an infrastructure otherwise available only to the largest funds. Conifer has successfully expanded its business through the cyclical market extremes of the last twenty years. This in-depth experience and broad expertise will provide the stability and support our client partners need in growing their business.” McDonald concluded.

In addition to its prime brokerage services, Conifer provides comprehensive middle- and back-office services to its clients including: global fund accounting and administration, trade operations, outsourced trade execution, executive office space, compliance, corporate accounting, consulting services and business infrastructure.

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