Cowen Group sets up direct lending platform

Cowen Finance will originate and syndicate loans and provide a variety of credit capital to the firm's corporate clients.

New York-based Cowen Group has formed Cowen Finance, a commercial finance direct lending company. Cowen plans to make an initial equity investment of up to $125 million in Cowen Finance, the firm announced on Monday (29 September). Cowen Finance will work alongside Cowen and Company’s investment banking and debt capital markets businesses to originate and syndicate loans and provide a range of credit capital to the firm's corporate clients.

“Given the diminished lending appetite by traditional banks into the middle market, companies and financial sponsors have expressed their need for a broader range of lending solutions. With the launching of Cowen Finance, we have a unique opportunity to meet this need by partnering with our investment banking and capital markets division to provide additional financing solutions to our clients,”  Jeffrey Solomon, president of Cowen Group, said in a statement.

Cowen Group provides alternative asset management, investment banking, research, and sales and trading services through its subsidiaries. Ramius, the hedge fund firm which Cowen acquired in 2009, and its affiliates make up the company’s alternative investment management unit. The subsidiary provides alternative asset management services to institutional and retail investors, and manages a significant portion of Cowen’s proprietary capital.

Cowen and Company and its affiliates, meanwhile, comprise the firm’s broker-dealer segment. That group offers investment banking services for growth-oriented companies as well as research and a sales and trading platform for institutional investors.

Cowen Group was founded in 1918 and is headquartered in New York. It has six additional offices in major US cities, as well as in London, Hong Kong and Luxembourg.

Cowen is the second firm to announce a new direct lending venture this week. Angelo, Gordon & Co., the New York-based alternative asset management firm also launched a first foray into the area recently.