10 May 2011 10:18

"Very chunky increase" in prime brokerage mandates

Jonas Lindgren, head of Prime Brokerage within SEB Enskilda Equities, says the success, announced in latest Eurohedge ranking and report, will help strengthen SEB's brand in the prime brokerage market, especially considering the bank came in ahead of big names such as Barclays and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The rankings are based on Eurohedge data on mandates awarded last year, taking into account volume and value of assets under management.

Particularly pleasing to Lindgren was the analysis that SEB has shown sustainable growth over the past four years, even as the competition has been falling. While the number eight overall ranking was not the biggest jump on the market (that title went to Newedge) the bank made good inroads into non-Scandinavian markets, where it continues to be the dominant player.

Prime brokerage is a series of services provided to hedge fund managers supporting them through the entire process of establishing and executing their funds. It includes securities lending and financing, operational support such as reporting and IT platforms for viewing portfolios and establishing risk, and clearing – settlement of the fund proceeds.

Lindgren attributes some of last year's success to an active presence in London, considered the world's leading centre for prime brokerage. "Being in London is very important not only from a prospecting perspective but keeping a finger on the pulse of the business. What happens in London will come to other markets, so it is a good way of making sure we can offer the best service available to all our clients, whether in London or elsewhere."

Recognition from Eurohedge will definitely support the unit's targets of expanding outside the Nordic market. "When someone is looking to set up a hedge fund they tend to look at the top three to four names," Lindgren says. "Just getting our brand out there – recognition that SEB is a responsible and respected prime broker, that we are involved in prime brokerage in the first place – is key. It really shows that we know what we are doing."