NEW YORK — Midsize investment banks are starting to make noise in the asset management industry, actively recruiting individuals and teams to propel themselves into the business of money management.
Two investment banks in particular — New York-based Cowen and Co. and San Francisco-based Thomas Weisel Partners — are looking to significantly expand their traditional asset management practices.
Cowen and Co., which was spun off from former parent Societe Generale in July through an initial public offering, is looking to aggressively expand into asset management, said Malcolm MacColl, who joined the firm earlier this month in the new position of president and chief executive officer of asset management.
Mr. MacColl said that in building the practice, Cowen will look to bring on new investments through either team liftouts or acquisitions.
"That will be the catalyst for the business here," said Mr. MacColl, who was co-CEO of Essex Investment Management LLC, Boston, before joining Cowen. "We're creating a blueprint now on how to build the business from scratch and it's a very important initiative to Cowen."
As part of this blueprint, Mr. MacColl said Cowen will likely stick to smaller moves and acquisitions, rather than acquiring mid- to large-size asset managers. "This is a business that we want to grow, not buy," he noted.