Drax, Brevan and the rise of the agency broker

JB Drax has become a key broker for at least 15 buy-side firms, including Brevan Howard. But what is driving the success of the secretive agency broker and its peers?

When Brevan Howard's EU entity wants to trade interest rate swaps through a broker, it turns to a single firm, JB Drax Honoré. It goes to the same firm for more than half of its over-the-counter currency derivatives, and the name also pops up in regulatory filings for at least 15 other large hedge funds and asset managers, including Caxton, Chenavari, GAM and Millennium (see table). 

It's a sign of the times. JB Drax is arguably the best known of the so-called buy-side agency brokers, which

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