Beyond stock loan and margining

Merrill Lynch's Jeff Penney explains why the leading prime brokers have gone beyond talking about margin and lending, and why those such as Merrill Lynch have moved into the more elegant sphere of financial engineering for their hedge fund clients

The prodigious growth of the hedge fund industry over the past five years has bolstered the prime brokerage businesses that serve them, but given the industry's complex, fast-evolving needs, few firms are capable of challenging the prime brokerage leaders.

However, Merrill Lynch has moved aggressively in the past three years to build a prime brokerage franchise that meets the sophisticated needs of hedge funds. As evidence of its success, Merrill Lynch rose to number two overall in Europe and

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