Electronic Trading

The electronic trading team brings significant, practical experience to the trading process. We have significant background in quantitative analytics and technology and are a leading voice in market structure.

Our interests are 100% aligned with the institutional equity customer.

  • No proprietary trading or alpha generating technology
  • No electronic market-making
  • No dark pool
  • No transmittance of IOI’s


Order details (size, strategy, urgency) are protected from exchanges, dark pools and market-makers, minimizing information leakage and optimizing liquidity sourcing.

Quantitative Focus

We are on the cutting edge of quantitative research with a focus on market microstructure, portfolio execution optimization, anti-gaming, short term alpha modeling, and execution optimization.

Data Driven

We analyze execution quality on the parent and child order level.  At the parent order level, we analyze performance versus execution benchmarks while at the child order level venue toxicity both on a real time and post-trade basis.  On a liquidity venue by venue basis, we measure slippage versus arrival price, slippage versus an average price at different intervals before and after each execution, short term momentum, reversion, fill rate, bid to ask spread and average execution size.

Exceptional Consulting

We take a high touch approach to customer service, designed to be proactive and consultative.


We work directly with clients to customize the trading technology for their specific needs, and unique trading situations.

Algorithmic Suite


Executes desired quantity at a constant rate over a user-defined interval


Creates a pre-trade schedule based on historical volume patterns and targets the volume weighted average price


Tracks and reacts to real-time market volumes to target a user-defined participation rate or participation range


Minimizes risk-adjusted trading costs relative to the arrival price and dynamically adjusts aggression as a function of real-time market conditions


Minimizes risk-adjusted trading costs relative to the closing price by creating a back-weighted trajectory


Intelligently executes in either or both displayed and non-displayed liquidity venues based on a user-defined aggression level


Route to a user-defined destination


Opportunistically adapts strategy and parameters in real time based upon stock price movement versus expected impact, user defined aggression and intra-day stock price prediction


Seeks liquidity by scaling user-defined price increments away from limit price through a user-defined liquidity seeking strategy


Seeks liquidity by aggressively routing orders one price level at a time until reaching a user-defined limit price and posting residual balance at limit

Portfolio Trading

Effective portfolio trading requires both experienced personnel and sophisticated trading technology. We have a veteran trading team, each with a significant background in quantitative analytics and technology.

Throughout the portfolio trading execution process, we work closely with the client. First we review and discuss the client’s investment strategy, objective and benchmarks. Next, we develop execution strategies specific to the customer needs utilizing Cowen’s sophisticated, quantitative analytical tools. We then provide fully transparent execution reports and a post-trade review.

Cowen 360

Cowen 360 is an efficient post-trade allocation tool providing investment advisors the ability to compare, settle, and clear across multiple sponsor platforms while trading aggregated orders with a preferred execution counter-party.

  • Trading/Operational Efficiency:  By consolidating trading and clearing to one single counter-party from multiple sponsors, bandwidth of the trading desk is freed up to perform more effective, tradeoriented tasks to enhance overall fund performance.
  • Superior Execution Quality:  By solving for the issue of equality and operational efficiency, the buyside’s trading desk can subsequently focus attention on adding more value to the trading function.
  • Eliminates need for sponsor rotation which:
    • Mitigates price dispersion
    • Ensures uniform performance across sponsors
    • Removes concern of advantaging one sponsor over another
  • Automates the manual step-out and aggregation process when trading with a preferred execution broker allowing:
    • Trading and Clearing with only one counter-party vs multiple sponsors
    • All multi-sponsor clearing responsibilities to reside with Cowen 360


  • Streamlines comparison, clearing, and settlement for ACT, OCS, and DTC delivery
  • Provides a customizable web-based solution which:
    • Delivers transparency of all trade and clearing activity, both current and historical
    • Processes automated e-mail notifications of step-outs to sponsors
    • Manages CCA/CSA commission credits and disbursements
  • Competitive Positioning:  By improving execution quality across customers, the buyside increases its value-added proposition to current and prospective sponsors.

ETF Trading

Cowen’s comprehensive ETF capabilities include the award-winning ETF Direct® platform as well as a suite of proprietary execution tools and analytics. Cowen is an authorized participant for major ETF fund families and a premier source of ETF liquidity.

Dedicated execution desk specializes in finding liquidity in thinly traded ETFs

  • Anonymous execution
  • Proprietary pricing engine and advanced execution tools
  • Real-time transaction/market impact analysis
  • Authorized Participant for ETF creation and redemption


Best OTC Trading Initiative
2015 American Financial Technology Awards


ETF Direct
Cowen’s award-winning ETF Direct® platform streamlines the process for accessing quotes from multiple liquidity providers

Features & Benefits

  • Anonymity:  The entire RFQ process is anonymous to all participants
  • Liquidity: ETF Direct gives clients the ability to source multiple quotes in all US listed ETFs and provides access to block size liquidity
  • Transparency: The agency-based execution model has no hidden fees or rebates
  • Audit Trail: ETF Direct offers detailed audit trail to assist in fulfilling best execution obligations & reporting requirements

As industry standards for best execution continue to evolve, ETF Direct provides price discovery by sourcing multiple liquidity providers


The algorithmic trading team brings significant, practical experience to the trading process. We have significant background in quantitative analytics and technology and are a leading voice in market structure.

General Contact

T 646 562 1525 

Electronic Desk Support
T 212 316 0401

Technical Support
T 646 562 1075