Cowen to buy Conifer Securities

Cowen Group has agreed to acquire Conifer Securities LLC, the prime services unit of Carlyle-backed Conifer Financial Services LLC. No financial terms were disclosed for the deal that’s expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.


NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cowen Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:COWN) (“Cowen” or the “Company”) and Conifer Securities, LLC (“Conifer Securities”) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Cowen will acquire Conifer Securities, the prime services division of Conifer Financial Services LLC. The transaction, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed, was approved by the boards of directors of both companies. Cowen Group expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2015.

Jeffrey M. Solomon, President of Cowen Group said, “Conifer Securities’ services are well-respected among emerging hedge funds and established family offices, segments historically underserved by the market. Following our recent announcement of an agreement to acquire Concept Capital, today’s announcement will extend the combined organization’s execution and prime brokerage capabilities. Once the acquisitions are complete, we will have established a solid footprint in the emerging manager space with over 400 new client relationships. This announcement validates our commitment to delivering products that help clients outperform. We see a compelling opportunity to advance the prime brokerage business, further grow our equities market share and gain operating efficiencies.”

Jack McDonald, President and CEO of Conifer Financial Services said, “For the past 26 years Conifer Securities has been dedicated to delivering comprehensive broker-dealer services to investment managers. Partnering with Cowen to provide clients with a broader range of best-in-class products and services was a natural next step for our business.”

William Byrne, Managing Director with Conifer Securities added, “We are excited to join Cowen Group. With our clients at the forefront of everything we do, we will ensure that the transaction benefits existing client accounts and the manner in which clients are served.”

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2015 and is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP acted as legal advisor to Cowen and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP acted as legal advisor to Conifer Securities on this transaction.

About Cowen Group, Inc.
Cowen Group, Inc. is a diversified financial services firm and, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, provides alternative asset management, investment banking, research, and sales and trading services through its two business segments: Ramius and its affiliates make up the Company’s alternative investment segment, while Cowen and Company and its affiliates make up the Company’s broker-dealer segment. Ramius provides alternative asset management solutions to a global client base and manages a significant portion of Cowen’s proprietary capital. Cowen and Company and its affiliates offer industry focused investment banking for growth-oriented companies, domain knowledge-driven research and a sales and trading platform for institutional investors. Founded in 1918, the firm is headquartered in New York and has offices worldwide.

About Conifer Financial Services LLC
Conifer Financial Services is a leading independent asset services firm offering front-to-back capabilities across all asset classes to pensions, endowments, family offices, hedge funds, private equity and venture capital managers, RIAs, and traditional asset managers. Services include Fund Administration, Middle- and Back-Office Services, Execution Services and Prime Brokerage. Conifer Financial Services has over 200 clients worldwide representing more than $110 billion of combined assets under administration (AUA). Securities and prime brokerage services offered through Conifer Securities, LLC Member FINRA/SIPC.