How do Prime Brokers and Hedge Funds Work Together? IG Prime

Lyle Daly is a personal finance writer who specializes in credit cards, travel rewards programs, and banking. He writes for The Ascent and The Motley Fool, and his work has appeared in USA Today and Yahoo! Finance. He was born in California but currently lives as a digital nomad with a home base in Colombia. Our team members include industry veterans with backgrounds in areas such as accounting, law, technology, operations, fund administration and property and infrastructure. Every organization has different needs, and we work closely with our clients to develop customized solutions that draw on the expertise and resources of Goldman Sachs. Our Clearing expertise helps clients execute and settle transactions on over 97% of the world’s equities and derivatives exchanges.

who is a prime broker

If you buy or sell stocks, bonds, and other investments for yourself, you may get help from a broker who executes the trades. You may use a discount brokerage firm, such as Fidelity, Charles Schwab,or E-Trade, which allows you to trade stocks online and get some basic research reports and advice. Prime brokerage is an important part of the financial sector that creates jobs for thousands of peoples and contributes significantly to the economy. For many large institutions, a prime broker can be a one-stop shop that makes doing business much easier. They also launched IBKR Lite with commission-free trading for US stocks and ETFs, with commissions on other products. Make sure you check out their full commission schedule as it can be a bit complex.

Core Prime Brokerage Services

EMIR Refit, amending EMIR, requires clearing firms to offer and provide OTC clearing services to in-scope clients in the European Union (EU) under terms that are fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory and transparent (principles known as FRANDT). The conditions under which terms are considered FRANDT, are specified in more detail in the FRANDT Delegated Regulation. The Shortable Instruments (SLB) Search tool is a fully electronic, self-service utility that lets clients search for availability of shortable securities. Shortable availability and borrow fees are broadcast in real-time on Trader Workstation (TWS), IBKR Desktop, the Client Portal, FTP files and API data feeds. IBKR uses automated price discovery to bring transparency, reliability and efficiency to the stock loan and borrow markets. A combination of sources is used to develop our indicative rates, which are displayed along with security availability in our automated securities financing tools.

SFOX plugs into all major cryptocurrency exchanges and scans the entire crypto market for arbitrage opportunities, allowing traders to get the best marketwide price execution every time they trade. With the amount and What Is Crypto Wallet And The Way To Arrange Crypto Wallet depth of prime brokerage services, there aren’t a lot of companies that can provide them. Hedge funds are typical prime brokerage clients, although other large professional investors can also use this type of service.


A prime brokerage is a package of services offered by some major investment banks. Our platform provides a full set of tools that allow clients to work with multiple asset classes and currencies in a single consolidated account. Our clearing professionals complement this with a range of services, including consulting, risk management and securities lending. A prime broker offers a package of services to investment vehicles – chiefly hedge funds – to help facilitate and coordinate complex trades in various financial instruments. Prime brokerage services offer hedge funds and institutional investors the ability to streamline their operations.

who is a prime broker

Working seamlessly across our global network, our team can track, synthesize and utilize the information gained from our manager and investor relationships to make effective client introductions. Run and customize activity statements to view detailed information about your account activity, including positions, cash balances, transactions, and more. Clients can direct U.S. stock orders to the IBKR ATS destination to add liquidity. Orders directed to IBKR ATS are automatically tagged as “not held” orders and are posted in IBKR’s order book where they are eligible to trade against incoming SmartRouted orders that are marketable against them.

Bond Marketplace

All of these services can be provided by mainstream prime brokerages. Institutional traders essentially outsource vital operational tasks to these brokerages, allowing them to focus on strategy and revenue generation. In doing so, the fund can position itself to make the most of the services and resources on offer across the prime broker market, simultaneously minimising counterparty risk. Understanding what hedge funds actually do requires a more-than-casual familiarity with the large investment banking teams that are these funds entry point into the global markets – that is, prime brokers.

who is a prime broker

What if you want to borrow large sums of money to maximize returns, sell stocks short, and make money even when the markets are going down? A broker facilitates the trading of securities, such as the buying or selling of stocks for an investment account. A prime broker, instead, is a large institution that provides a multitude of services, from cash management to securities lending to risk management for other large institutions. They’ve been around for a long time, and institutional traders like banks and hedge funds universally use them to deal in assets. Institutional traders in crypto have the same needs as their mainstream counterparts, and crypto is significantly less catered for than traditional finance.

Getting in pole position: How hedge funds are leveraging Gen AI to get ahead

Ad hoc solutions like order and execution management system (OEMS) solutions are prevalent in the industry, connecting traders to multiple platforms through an individual account. In many cases, a prime brokerage agreement also includes operational support. Although hedge funds are some of the busiest traders and can have substantial money under management, they’re often small in terms of personnel. If they don’t have enough bodies to do the often great amount of direct work required to trade securities, they usually outsource it.

who is a prime broker

Most investment firms are not set up to settle and custody its own assets, requiring prime brokers to step in and work with the executing brokers to settle and transfer assets. Prime brokerage services also offer margin and financing options so that clients can borrow funds and increase their financial leverage. By connecting these counterparties with a hedge fund, the prime broker is essentially opening the fund up to margin financing, which can be used to leverage investments and bolster returns. The hedge fund can also take advantage of the additional securities by borrowing them from the institutional investors for large-scale short selling. Prime brokers are generally part of larger financial institutions with expanded services, such as securities lending, cash management, custodial services, leveraged trade execution and other related activities. The service is offered by investment banks such as Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs.


A prime brokerage acts as a facilitator for hedge funds and other large investment entities. They handle a variety of tasks such as securities lending, providing leverage, and even risk management. A broker facilitates the trading of securities for an investment account. A prime broker is a type of broker that provides expanded services to institutions, such as clearing and settlement services, securities lending, trade execution and cash management.

  • Prime brokers have access to client holdings and can offer research and data to help identify cash and securities management risks.
  • This is equally true for institutional traders dealing with crypto, perhaps even more so.
  • Orders directed to IBKR ATS are automatically tagged as “not held” orders and are posted in IBKR’s order book where they are eligible to trade against incoming SmartRouted orders that are marketable against them.

Based on the number of hedge funds served, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and UBS make up the top five. As Paradigm investor Arjun Balaji observed, there’s an urgent need for custodian services to protect and insure large sums of cryptocurrencies being bought and sold by traders. The issue of liquidity can affect all traders at times, and for institutional traders, the liquidity pool provided by a single exchange typically isn’t enough to fill trades.

Prime Brokerage Services Offer Added Efficiency and Liquidity

Each client in the market of a prime broker will have certain technological needs related to the management of its portfolio. These can be as simple as daily statements or as complicated as real-time portfolio reporting, and the client must work closely with the prime broker to ensure that its needs are met. Certain prime brokers offer more specialized services to certain clients. Whatever happens, institutions seem poised to enter the cryptocurrency space in a big way, transforming and growing the ecosystem significantly. At SFOX, we’ve created advanced prime services to accommodate retail brokerages, exchanges, enterprises, and fund managers in crypto.

External analyst’s judgment, future expectations, views or opinions, but actual developments and results may differ materially from such expectations, in particular due to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Testimonials on this website may not be representative of the experience of other customers. No testimonial should be considered as a guarantee of future performance or success. Katrina Ávila Munichiello is an experienced editor, writer, fact-checker, and proofreader with more than fourteen years of experience working with print and online publications.

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