Cowen Posts Loss In First Post-Ramius Quarter

Mar 3 2010 | 5:35am ET

Cowen Group’s fourth quarter loss was narrower than last year, but was wider than analysts expected for the boutique investment bank that reverse-merged with hedge fund Ramius Capital in November.

Cowen suffered a $23.4 million net loss in the last three months of 2009, less than one-third of the $76.3 million it lost in the year-earlier period. For the full year, the firm lost $55.3 million, down from $141.8 million in 2008.

The firm’s revenues more than doubled to $60.4 million on the quarter. Net realized and unrealized losses on investments nearly disappeared, dropping to just $289,000 from $115.9 million, but other important metrics went the wrong direction, despite the addition of Ramius, which was included in the results.

Assets under management fell to $7.85 billion from $10.57 billion at the end of 2008—although performance gains added $329 million to that figure. Sales and trading revenue dropped 12% on the quarter and 14% on the year.

Still, CEO—and Ramius founder—Peter Cohen deemed the tie-up a success, saying it helped increase stability and diversify revenue streams.

“As part of the Cowen and Ramius integration, we have worked and will continue to work to expand and reorganize both our alternative investment management and investment banking/broker-dealer businesses,” he said.


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