Cowen’s suite of algorithms helps provide buy-side and sell-side traders with greater control over trade execution in global markets. Traders can proactively outline specific trading strategies and constraints at the beginning of the investment life cycle. These algorithms track market sensitivity – enabling traders to closely monitor the nuances of market changes while seeking to dynamically optimize performance and minimize market impact.

Key Features

  • Global reach with access to over 100 global market centers including 55+ electronically
  • Market structure expertise providing unique content and unbiased insight
  • Advanced direct market access (DMA) and algorithmic strategies
  • Highly advanced algorithms built in-house and deployed to customers
  • Agnostic platform with connectivity to major OMS, EMS and network providers
  • Intelligent liquidity-seeking and benchmark algorithms
  • 24×6 Strategy Support
  • Fully transparent, real-time order routing

Featured Algorithms

Closing Price

Designed to perform well against the day’s closing price, this algorithm can either maximize alpha or strictly track the benchmark price.  The algorithm uses historical data and auction imbalance information disseminated by the exchanges to help determine:

  • Share commitment: Closing Price utilizes historical data to determine how many shares may trade in the closing auction to maximize performance and minimize market impact
  • Trade Time Control: Closing Price will use auction imbalance data to determine whether to trade more shares upfront or nearer to the close to achieve a better average price



Abraxas dynamically balances orders among the most desirable global market venues, efficiently accessing numerous sources of displayed and non-displayed liquidity while seeking to minimize information leakage.

  • Real-time effectiveness ranking of both displayed and non-displayed market venues
  • Anti-gaming logic
  • Broad array of order types to mitigate impact while maximizing fill rates
  • Multiple child order placement strategies in both displayed and non-displayed destinations


The Darkest Algo is designed to dynamically source liquidity from over 20 non-displayed ATSs while maintaining anonymity.  Darkest’s proprietary methodology monitors liquidity conditions on an ongoing basis and adjusts its attributes to take advantage of the liquidity opportunities that are available.

Small Cap

Cowen’s Small Cap Algo is designed to maximize liquidity, in less liquid names, while minimizing impact. Small Cap rests completely hidden in almost 20 ATS’s and “Inverted” exchanges, but will exit the market when it senses it is signaling a presence in the market place.  It will then return to the market when it feels that it is a safer time to re-engage.

Benchmark Algos

These algorithms are benchmark-focused, helping traders monitor performance against the market.

  • VWAP and Initiation Price algos use Cowen’s advanced optimal tactics engine to optimize strategies. The engine incorporates multiple factors including venue selection, order type, spread and how to access liquidity from the market.
  • Algos are then adjusted to trade accordingly, giving clients more choice and control over executions, while addressing cost, timing, performance and market structure requirements.
  • POV can also be used for short-term tactical trading, enabling traders to balance tracking error and alpha performance.


Liquidity-Seeking, Opportunistic & Custom Algorithms

Cowen also offers distinct liquidity-seeking, opportunistic and custom algos for special situations. Darkest and Abraxas access most of the available ATS liquidity in the market.

Cowen strategies are designed by an in-house team of quantitative financial engineers who understand market dynamics and market structure. Since not every algo matches every client’s need, Cowen takes a collaborative approach to creating custom solutions for specific requirements.



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Americas:  800.342.6637
Europe:  +44.20.7070.0130