When it comes to prime brokerage, Barclays is little better than a bit player, barely cracking the top 10 and more likely to be confused with a mutual-fund company than with the big boys, led by Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase. It’s not even clear that Lloyd Blankfein, whose prime brokerage is more than five times the size of Barclays, knows that Barclays has a prime brokerage business.
Relatively newly-minted Barclays chief Jes Staley, is under a lot of pressure to fix Diamond’s Disaster by several months ago, and he fears the his “peer” Lloyd’s ignorance might be a little more widespread. So Staley, who used to be in charge of JPMorgan’s third-ranking prime brokerage, threw a $1 million (or $100,000—let’s not get pedantic here) party to say: “YES! We still run that prime brokerage that we bought from Lehman Brothers! Have some hors d’oeuvres, and maybe think about giving a little prime brokerage action to a bank that actually wants your business.”
Barclays held a $1 million bash for 55 hedge funds — that have combined assets under management of about $669 billion, according to filings and reports — at Cipriani at 25 Broadway on Oct. 13, according to hedgies and documents obtained by On the Money.
The party was a bid to chip away at Goldman’s fearsome prime brokerage business, which handles orders for many of the biggest funds in the world, according to sources.
According to an invitation list, attendees included reps from Man Group, Och-Ziff Capital Management, Renaissance Technologies and Elliott Management, just to name a few.