Wedbush Securities, Inc.

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Wedbush Securities
Founded 1955
Headquarters Los Angeles
Key People Gary Wedbush, President; Bob Fitzsimmons, Head of Wedbush Futures
Employees 1000
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.[1] The firm was founded in 1955 by Edward Wedbush and Robert Werner.

Wedbush is one of the top Nasdaq liquidity providers for stocks listed on both the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange.[2]

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.

On May 31, 2018 the firm said its co-founder and long time president Edward Wedbush would retire and the company would be led by co-presidents Richard Jablonski and Gary Wedbush, the founder’s son.


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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5] The case was resolved by a voluntary dismissal stipulated to by both parties in January 2018.[6]

Move into execution and clearing[edit]

In June 2011, Wedbush purchased New York-based Lime Brokerage, in order to expand its base and help the firm meet new direct market access regulations.

In December 2014, Wedbush acquired the futures division of KCG Holdings (the former Knight Capital) for an undisclosed sum.[7] The deal increases Wedbush's reach in derivatives execution and clearing services.[8]

Cryptocurrency services[edit]

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.[9]

Wedbush became the first institutional brokerage firm in the U.S. to accept bitcoin as payment in 2014.[10]

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.[11]

JLN Interview with Bob Fitzsimmons[edit]

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[edit]

  • 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

Key People[edit]