First of most, to me, COWN the boutique broker-dealer/investment bank has been a small company that specialized in health-care and technology always; nothing special. I don’t believe it has been making hardly any money (or not much) since the 1999/2000-bubble crash. After that, the industry sort of just seemed to shift away from these little guys and also to the bigger banks. It’s pretty close, though. Yes, it’s a fairly small position for LUK.

The other stock they’ve owned for a long time is INTL FCStone (INTL). We can see that after the LUK/JEF merger, they completely sold-out of COWN. This can be because they’re a primary competitor to JEF. Or possibly they (Handler, who required over from Cumming/Steinberg) just don’t like COWN. INTL also down is being sold. I used to check out the INTL until their merger with FCStone.

I individually hated that merger because I am not a lover of the product futures brokerage business. I didn’t like JEF’s purchase of Bache’s goods business either. I’ve never worked well in that industry, but it has always sort of appeared like a low-margin, low-return business. And every couple of years you have these spectacular blowups then.

  • Choose the “Make A Deposit” icon
  • Customized solutions
  • Ask the questions your financiers will ask you which means you know very well what to expect
  • Transportation (e.g., aircraft, train, bus, or car)
  • The term open up interest refers to the
  • Aluminum Door Window Manufacturing

Refco had a blowup, MF Global lost a ton on unauthorized, concealed trades (this was in 2008 rather than the Corzine blowup of 2011), and there were some others. I hate that. You may claim that is the situation with any financial company. Yes, somewhat. However in futures, it appears much simpler to inflate.

Anyway, that business sort of changed me off to INTL. EASILY take a close consider it again, maybe I’ll make a post about any of it. If someone were to ask why LUK owned COWN, Cumming / Steinberg would have said probably, “Because we like people and it’s cheap”. I believe that’s precisely what they solved when someone asked about INTL at an annual conference a few years ago. So, Cumming / Steinberg like individuals at COWN probably.

But there is another connection. Ramius, the choice asset manager that merged with COWN acquired a stake in Linkem before LUK got included. So there is most likely a relationship there. Many of these guys (the LUK folks and COWN folks) go way back. Some of the older people will recognize these true names, but the younger folks might not have ever heard of them.

Peter Cohen is kind of the initial Jamie Dimon (Sandy protege). He was an increasing superstar, young, “boy question” back in the 1980’s. Thomas Strauss, of course, can make many Buffett-heads cringe as he was the President and Vice Chairman of Salomon during the scandal. Thomas W. Strauss. Age 71. Mr. Strauss is Vice Chairman of Cowen Group, Inc., and it is the Chairman of Ramius LLC. I haven’t any particular opinion about this business as they were just about before my time.

I only understand how they have been portrayed in the mass media. So, why trouble looking at this? It is cheap nominally. 4.44/talk about which is 0.94x BPS and 1.03x TBPS. That isn’t that cheap compared to when LUK possessed it. But there’s a near-term catalyst that makes this valuation much cheaper.