Westminster Research

Westminster is a FINRA registered broker/dealer specializing in providing investment research and commission management solutions to the institutional investment community.

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Cowen’s Westminster Research provides a global solution that complies with regulations such as Section 28(e) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and MiFID II (effective January 3, 2018).

The solution allows investment managers to consolidate all the administrative, servicing and reporting functions of their research business with one counterparty.


Westminster is a FINRA registered broker-dealer in the US and operates under FCA authorization in Europe.

Key Features

  • CSA Aggregation – A single, centralized account saves time and money and eliminates the need for multiple, disparate CSA brokers
  • RPA Administration – Westminster RPA is a dedicated solution created specifically to address the unbundling requirements of MiFID II
  • Access to Investment Research – Consultative approach to managing financial research including weekly updates of new research companies and resources
  • Broker-Dealer/Sell-Side Solutions – Complete outsourcing solutions for investment managers and sell-side brokerage firms

CSA Aggregation

Centralized CSA Managment

Cowen’s aggregation model helps money managers improve the execution associated with acquiring research from virtually any source.

Key Features

  • Safeguarding CSA Balances – Westminster is a single purpose broker-dealer dedicated to commission management. Westminster does not engage in any risk businesses such as proprietary trading, market making, underwriting or other activity that might require a commitment of capital.  This unique structure distinguishes Westminster from all other brokers involved in the commission management business.
  • Payment Anonymity for Financial Research – Westminster’s unbundled aggregation model allows clients to keep sensitive research spend data private from sell-side executing brokers. When we pay for research on our client’s behalf, the executing brokers do not know whom we are paying, the amounts paid, or the reasons for payments.


  • Agnostic Structure – Westminster is a single purpose broker-dealer providing an agnostic offering to clients.
    • Westminster does not compete with our participating-executing brokers in either their financial research or trading businesses.
    • Westminster does not have any minimums or in-house trading targets.
  • Multiple Execution Alternatives – Westminster’s multiple trading business structure provides money managers with the flexibility to seek best execution through a network of more than 250 executing broker-dealers.
  • Industry Expertise & Knowledge – Westminster’s principals are industry veterans with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Each Westminster client has a dedicated service representative as well as access to senior management.
  • Enhanced CSA Management Platform – Westminster offers a consultative approach to research budgeting, valuation and industry best practices.



RPA Administration

Cowen’s Westminster RPA is a Research Payment Account (RPA) administration service leveraging the expertise of Westminster Research Associates, a leading provider of commission sharing arrangement (CSA) aggregation services for over 20 years.

The Westminster RPA offering leverages the physical aggregation model trusted by over 700 CSA clients globally. By enhancing this model in preparation for MiFID II, Cowen allows research accounts to be funded by specific client charges, the manager’s P&L, an accounting based charge (“the Swedish model”) or via trading commissions swept from CSA accounts. An integrated research portal supports the acquisition of research from over 4,000 providers with a fully audited payment process fulfilled by Westminster.

Westminster provides tools that allow managers to create budgets at firm, fund and strategy levels; allocate research payments against these budgets and generate MiFID II compliant reports for internal control, regulators and clients. Clients can also import budgets, payment information and trade details from a number of external sources, including most budgeting and research valuation platforms.

Transparent Reporting

  • Full visibility into the funding and payments for research
  • Targeted, compliant spend across the entire research market
  • Analysis of actual payments vs. budgets at all stages of the process

Straightforward Budgeting

  • Create budgets using “top-down” or “bottom-up” approaches
  • Can be created at firm, strategy or fund level as well as imported from external sources
  • Payments can be quickly allocated using a variety of methodologies

Full-Service Model

  • Minimize administrative efforts and costs
  • Reconcile trades, resolve exceptions, monitor bank accounts and provide online access to research and reports
  • Fixed annual service fee based on size and complexity of your business
  • Budgeting tools, payment allocation and MiFID II reports included



General Contact

Christopher Tiscornia
T 212.448.6050