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Cogent Consulting hires Glen Wilson to head new London office

03 December 2007  |  1977 views  |  0 Source: Cogent Consulting

Cogent Consulting LLC today announced it has opened a marketing, sales and support office in London in response to growing demand in the UK and Europe for trading and research commission management and payment systems.

Cogent named Glen Wilson, 35, as Director, European Business Development, to head the office. Mr. Wilson is an experienced executive with particular expertise in marketing technology products and services to financial service companies and other Fortune 1000 size enterprises in the UK and Europe.

Previously, Mr. Wilson held positions with Siebel Systems, Twisted Pair Solutions (VOIP applications for financial trading), and Onyx Software (CRM).

Cogent is the leader in the UK for systems used to manage commission sharing arrangements (CSAs). Cogent's European clients include several of the largest investment managers and hedge funds such as Aviva plc's Morley Fund Management group in London and ING Groep N.V. in Amsterdam. Worldwide, Cogent provides commission management solutions at 100 locations for 60 clients with aggregate assets under management of $5 trillion.

"CSAs are as hot as they have ever been in the UK, and that's spreading to the rest of Europe," said Robin Hodgkins, President of Cogent. "Soft dollars no longer are being used in the UK, so everybody is using CSAs. France is eliminating soft dollars as of January 2008, so the CSA market there is about to explode."

Mr. Wilson will be in charge of marketing Cogent's entire range of products for investment managers, hedge funds and brokerage firms. His first emphasis will be on CSATrak for the buy side, and a version for the sell side, which is expected to be available early next year.

CSAs are a way to unbundle execution costs from research costs. They allow money managers to separately pay their executing broker for best execution while building a commission pool at their executing brokers that they can use to pay third party research providers for "best research". CSAs are seen as a more transparent way for investment managers to uphold their fiduciary responsibilities to find and pay for both best execution and "best research".

CSATrak keeps track of all this data with far greater efficiency than the home grown, error prone spreadsheets or databases that buy side firms currently use. Users can quickly analyze and report on all aspects of their commission spend, and monitor whether their brokers have correctly followed their instructions. The sell side version manages similar data from a brokerage firm's point of view.

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), which came into effect this November in the European Union, is leading more firms in Europe to consider CSAs, according to Mr. Wilson. "By requiring buy side firms to seek best execution, MiFID encourages investment managers to seek 'best research,'" he said. "CSATrak is a proven, easy to implement solution for managing these payments."

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