Deutsche Bank Custody Platform Avoids Lehman-Like Pitfalls

Dec 17 2009 | 9:08am ET

Deutsche Bank and the Bank of New York Mellon have launched a new custody platform designed to allow hedge funds to avoid having their assets frozen in the event of a prime broker’s collapse.

The new system gives hedge funds the option to custody unencumbered prime brokerage assets at a separate account at BNY Mellon. That way, in the event of another Lehman Brothers-type failure, a hedge fund’s assets would already be separated from the rest of a prime brokerage’s assets.

According to International Custody & Fund Administration, Deutsche Bank and BNY Mellon went straight to the source when setting up the new platform, getting advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the administrators of Lehman’s European arm.

“What we’re trying to do is in a post-Lehman environment allow clients in a very operationally efficient manner to hold unencumbered assets in a separate custody account,” Anthony Byrne, co-head of prime finance at Deutsche Bank, said. Clients of the new DB Integrated Prime Custody platform will be allowed to choose other custodians than BNY Mellon.

The new service has been launched in London for European clients. It is expected to be available in the U.S. next year.

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