Gar Wood Securities, LLC featured in

By Susan L. Barreto, Senior Financial Correspondent

CHICAGO (—Bob Jersey, leaning on his experience of more than 20 years in the trading and hedge fund community, is officially opening the doors to a hedge fund services firm.

Gar Wood Securities LLC is named for Garfield Arthur Wood, who developed speed boating in the United States and was the first man to go 100 miles an hour on water. Mr. Jersey hopes to offer similar speed and efficiency to hedge funds in the areas of clearing, custody and financing.

Finally having gained NASD approval for Gar Wood’s broker-dealer entity, the enterprise is ready to get to work with a number of hedge fund clients that already rely on the firm’s office space and access to clearing through Bear Stearns prime brokerage and Penson Financial.

Most recently with ABN Amro’s prime brokerage department, Mr. Jersey left that firm in 2003 to build his own business, taking with him a number of his former colleagues and gaining the backing of former Carr Futures chairman Didier Varlet.

Joining Mr. Jersey in his new firm are: Dennis G. Gerecke, senior vice president and chief operating officer, who formerly handled client service at ABN Amro; Manny Ayala, senior partner, previously information technology head for corresponding clearing at ABN Amro; and Jonathan Ende, who ran the Lehman Brothers structured products business and will do the same at Gar Wood.

Prospective Gar Wood clients won’t only be start-ups, but established funds that want the feel of a boutique service provider coupled with the expertise of top-notch firms. Gar Wood’s knowledge of products and services and one-on-one, face-to-face services are its main selling points, Mr. Jersey said.

Electronic trading services span U.S. and European securities, U.S. options markets, contracts for difference and foreign exchange. Gar Wood is able to connect to direct-access trading platforms and can route trades through its own agency trading desk. Clients also will have access to third-party marketing and structured products services.