Prime Brokerage on the Move

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Cantor Fitzgerald is once again announcing an expansion of its prime brokerage biz.

"Whether it's via acquisition, joint venture or hiring new talent, we are growing domestically and expanding into Europe in 2012," said Noel Kimmel, Cantor's senior managing director and global head of prime services, in a press release. The plan is to establish a London presence to handle non-U.S. clients. Currently, Cantor's clients are handled from their U.S. office. Currently, the prime brokerage business has about 30 staffers.

In February, Cantor stepped up its prime brokerage efforts with the hiring of the management team of PCS Dunbar Securities. PCS Dunbar's office in Purchase, New York took on the Cantor Fitzgerald name.

Lightspeed Financial is adding prime brokerage to its current offerings of ultra low latency direct market access trading technology, risk management solutions and brokerage services for professional retail traders and institutions. Lightspeed Institutional will offer electronic and voice access to industry pros and traders, prime brokerage, reporting and commission management.

In a press release, Andrew Actman, chief strategy officer for Lightspeed Financial, noted, "The decision to expand into prime brokerage stems from our desire to meet the demands of a growing number of sophisticated investors who have grown dissatisfied with the level and cost of service they are receiving from some of the bigger players in the space."

The growth in the space also included Bank of America, which added senior staffers to prime brokerage. JPMorgan Chase rolled out prime brokerage for European hedge funds and also announced an Asian effort in 2012.

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