Former BofA Exec Markets New Prime Brokerage Offerings

NEW YORK (HedgeWorld.com)--Steve Vermut, former president and chief executive for Banc of America's prime brokerage business, is launching his own prime brokerage and performance-reporting business, Merlin Securities, targeted to hedge funds.

In launching his new business, Mr. Vermut will rely on his extensive experience in the hedge fund industry.

Mr. Vermut was responsible for the expansion of Banc of America's prime brokerage client roster, joining the effort from Montgomery Securities, which was acquired by Banc of America. Before that Mr. Vermut was involved in prime brokerage at ING Furman Selz for 12 years as managing director.

Vermut left BofA earlier this year, resigning in February after eight years of leading the Banc of America prime brokerage (see ). At Merlin, Mr. Vermut is marketing two hedge fund offerings: MerlinSHARP and MerlinPRIME.

MerlinSHARP is a tool that gives managers shadow, attribution, risk and performance reporting across an entire portfolio. The system was built to help managers alleviate the cost and administrative burden of using multiple prime brokers and building in-house systems for each. According to Merlin Securities, the software is designed to complement a hedge fund's prime brokers, administrators and technology service providers.

Mr. Vermut in a statement said, "MerlinSHARP will consolidate the hedge fund's portfolio information across multiple prime brokers, giving the fund manager the ability to access information in ways previously available only to the largest funds."

Meanwhile, MerlinPRIME will offer traditional prime brokerage services to managers who want a single custodial relationship. The firm's NASD membership is still pending.

Contact Bob Keane with questions or comments at: bkeane@investmentadvisor.com.

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