TradeStation Securities, a subsidiary of Florida-based TradeStation Group, an electronic brokerage firm has launched its new TradeStation Prime Services division. It is expected to fill the growing need of start-up to mid-sized hedge funds, registered investment advisers, professional traders and asset managers for prime brokerage services.

Reportedly, the new division intends to provide a combination of execution platforms, including the TradeStation, clearance and settlement of trades, and service and support, including start-up assistance, outsourced/direct access trading, real-time risk management, portfolio reporting, securities lending, CSA, and capital introductions for its clients. Moreover, the new division expects to have its first accounts up and running next month.

Additionally, TradeStation plans to make improvement to the TradeStation trading platform that attract clients to use TradeStation’s trading platform. TradeStation Prime Services plans to serve traders of equities, equity and index options, futures, non-US equities, and forex for institutional traders who seek to trade in any of, or across, those asset classes.

According to the company, TradeStation Prime Services will be co-headed by Lance Baraker and William Katts, as senior managing directors, both of whom have experience running prime services operations in New York. Mr. Baraker and Mr. Katts will run the division from a new TradeStation office in mid-town Manhattan, and will seek to take advantage of TradeStation’s office presences in South Florida, Chicago, Richardson/Dallas, and London to attract new clients.

Salomon Sredni, CEO of TradeStation Group, said: “We believe that our award-winning trading platform technology, ability to provide custody and clearing, and the strength of our balance sheet will give us a strong offering to the small- to mid-sized hedge funds and investment advisers who need services no longer being provided by the larger firms. This is a market opportunity for TradeStation that did not really exist until recently, and we look forward to maximizing the value we believe we can create by entering this segment of the institutional trader space.”

Mr. Baraker said: “The downfall of many financial firms in 2008 has created a rare opportunity for another custodian to enter and succeed in the prime brokerage market. Mr. Katts and I look forward to combining our experience and relationships built over the years with TradeStation’s industry-leading technology to create a leading, powerful prime brokerage platform for the buy-side institutional trader.”

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