Republican Cohen, who served in Bill Clinton's administration, has set up the firm with Edward Carter, the former head of corporate and investment banking at Banc of America Securities (BAS).
TCG Financial Partners will initially provide clients with strategic and corporate finance advice, including fund raising, but is hoping to raise $300m (€245m) for a dedicated fund that will focus on investments in the defense sector.
The team will include advisers from Cohen's existing firm, The Cohen Group, a strategic business consultant to companies in the defense sector. They will include Joseph Ralston, the supreme Allied commander in Europe until last year, and Lord Robertson, the former Labour defense minister and secretary general of NATO.
The New York-based firm, with its combination of high-profile political and investment banking figures, resembles the strategy of the Carlyle Group, one of the world's largest private equity firms with more than $18bn in assets under management. Carlyle, formed in 1987, has Frank Carlucci, another former defense secretary, as its emeritus chairman and counts a number of former international statesmen on its advisory boards.
Carter left BAS in April 2002 when his position as head of corporate and investment banking was eliminated. At the time, Carter McClelland, president of the bank's securities arm, assumed direct responsibility for all corporate and investment banking functions, including the industry groups, private equity group, and mergers and acquisitions.