Wedbush Securities, Inc.
|Key People||Gary Wedbush, President; Bob Fitzsimmons, Head of Wedbush Futures|
|Products||Securities clearing and execution; wealth management; investment banking|
Wedbush Securities is a Los Angeles-based securities firm providing investment banking, brokerage, clearing and wealth management services from over 100 locations in the U.S. The firm was founded in 1955 by Edward Wedbush and Robert Werner.
As of 2010, the firm managed more than $15 billion in assets, employed 1,000 people and was valued at $300 million. It has retail sales offices in all of the larger Western cities. Its market making business is also significant.
Wedbush was started as a partnership between Edward Wedbush and Robert Werner, who founded the company fresh out of college with $5,000 each that they pooled to capitalize the company. It gradually grew through its retail business and correspondent services business, and in the early 1970s it joined the New York Stock Exchange. It began as primarily a retail business with some market making. During the 1970s, its retail business continued to grow and its correspondent and market making businesses expanded aggressively.
In 1969, Wedbush acquired Noble Cooke, a division of Gregory & Sons, a firm dating back to 1925. The acquisition brought it into the specialist business on the Pacific Exchange. Wedbush went on to acquire two specialist posts from Charles Schwab & Co., and eventually to become the largest specialist firm on the Pacific Exchange. In 1976 it acquired the investment banking department of the former William R. Staats Company, a Los Angeles firm that dated back to 1890. That gave Wedbush its start in the investment banking business.
In 2017, Wedbush was sued by ION Trading for the early end to a software licensing deal to process futures trades that was originally signed by Crossland, a company Wedbush later acquired. The case was resolved by a voluntary dismissal stipulated to by both parties in January 2018.
Move into execution and clearing
In December 2014, Wedbush acquired the futures division of KCG Holdings (the former Knight Capital) for an undisclosed sum. The deal increases Wedbush's reach in derivatives execution and clearing services.
Wedbush began researching the cryptocurrency space in 2013, when Sheri Kaiserman, later, the firm's head of advanced securities, published research on bitcoin with Wedbush's equity research team. When Cboe and the CME Group launched their bitcoin futures services in December 2017, Wedbush was one of the first non-bank futures commission merchants to begin clearing bitcoin futures for clients.
Bob Fitzsimmons, managing director and head of Wedbush Futures, has said that he believes cryptocurrency futures do not "feel like a passing fad," and that they may be the beginning of a new asset class. He cited demand from clients for futures in altcoins such as Litecoin and Ripple.
JLN Interview with Bob Fitzsimmons
In February 2018, John Lothian News published an interview with Wedbush's managing director and head of Wedbush Futures, Bob Fitzsimmons. In the article, Bob discusses the early days following the late 2017 launches of bitcoin futures by Cboe and CME Group.
Products and Services
- Securities: including equities, fixed income, derivatives, and cash management
- Investment banking: including mergers & acquisitions, private equity, and valuations
- Clearing and execution: including automated trading, sponsored and direct access, prime brokerage and securities lending
- Investment advising
- Futures: including brokerage and clearing
- Gary L. Wedbush - President
- Dan Billings - Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
- Burke Dempsey, Executive Vice President, Head of Investment Banking
- Andrew Druck, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief administrative Officer
- Robert Fitzsimmons, Executive Vice president, Fixed Income, Futures, Prime Brokerage & Stock Lending
- Kirsten Fraunces, Executive Vice President, Head of Capital Markets
- Donald W. Hultgren, Executive Chairman of the Board
- Robert Paset, Executive Vice President, Head of Advanced Clearing & Prime Services
- Rodrigo Parrode, Executive Vice President, Head of Technology and Operations 
- Our Firm. Wedbush.
- Wedbush Buys Lime Brokerage to Help Meet Market-Access Rules. Bloomberg.
- History of Wedbush. Wedbush.
- Edward W. Wedbush. The Wall Street Transcript.
- Financial software firm Ion sues over early end to US deal. Independent.
- ION Trading Ireland Limited v. Wedbush Securities Inc.. Pacer.
- KCG ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT TO SELL FUTURES COMMISSION MERCHANT BUSINESS TO WEDBUSH SECURITIES. Nasdaq.
- KCG Completes Sale of Futures Commission Merchant. Press Release.
- PRESS RELEASE: WEDBUSH SECURITIES AT FOREFRONT OF BITCOIN FUTURES LAUNCH. Wedbush.
- Equities Research Firm Wedbush Sells Reports for Bitcoins. Coindesk.
- Bitcoin is just the beginning, says one of the futures market’s biggest players. Marketwatch.
- Leadership Team. Wedbush Securities.