Cowen Digital LLC, a digital asset business of New York-based investment bank Cowen (COWN), will provide full-service trade execution and custody solutions for institutional clients.
The new digital section will be led by Cowen Managing Director Drew Forman. Forman was previously the bank’s head of derivative sales and trading. Forman told CoinDesk that the launch had been a year in the works, along with Cowen co-President Dan Charney. They stated, “We will have a considerable first-mover advantage.”
Cowen’s “more nimble, entrepreneurial culture,” they added, gives the bank an advantage over its larger bulge-bracket competitors.
Cowen’s action comes as more investment banks aim to bridge the gap between traditional capital markets and institutional crypto demands with their positions. For example, Goldman Sachs (GS) made its first over-the-counter (OTC).
cryptocurrency-related trade with Galaxy Digital, a former partner of Mike Novogratz.
According to Cowen’s Forman, the bank is already trading approximately 16 tokens, including bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), solana (SOL), and USD coin (USDC), and has hundreds of clients.
He added that the new unit’s mandate will include being “thought leaders” for clients in addition to trading.
Standard Custody & Trust, a division of PolySign, a digital asset infrastructure startup in which Cowen made a $25 million strategic investment in May, will be in charge of custody.