Prop Trading Firm Takes Plunge Into Hedge Funds

Nov 3 2010 | 2:59am ET

One proprietary trading firm plans to take advantage of banks being barred from its industry—by launching a hedge fund.

First New York Securities is preparing to launch a multi-strategy fund, its first vehicle to trade outside capital. And to run it, the $350 million firm may hire as many as 40 traders over the next six months, hoping to tap into the talent leaving bank prop desks, Bloomberg News reports.

Banks have begun dismantling their prop trading operations, which will be barred under the Dodd-Frank financial services reform law.

First New York, which already boasts more than 200 traders, plans to begin fundraising in the first quarter. The fund's prop traders have enjoyed average annual returns of 20% over the last five years, according to Bloomberg.

The firm's move into hedge funds follows the appiontment of new CEO Joseph Schenk, a former CFO of Jefferies Group, and the sale of its prime brokerage business, both last month.

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