Wells Fargo set to launch self-cleared prime brokerage

Bank's head of prime services say launch is "a couple of weeks away"

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Wells Fargo expects to launch a self-cleared prime brokerage service for hedge fund clients before the end of the month – the latest step in the bank's attempts to develop its securities and investment banking franchise.

The acquisition of Merlin Securities in April 2012 gave the bank a foothold in the hedge fund world. As an introducing broker, Merlin provided smaller hedge funds with access to the clearing, custody and financing services of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

Since the acquisition, W

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