Important Information

You are visiting the international Vantage Markets website, distinct from the website operated by Vantage Global Prime LLP
( ) which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA").

This website is managed by Vantage Markets' international entities, and it's important to emphasise that they are not subject to regulation by the FCA in the UK. Therefore, you must understand that you will not have the FCA’s protection when investing through this website – for example:

  • You will not be guaranteed Negative Balance Protection
  • You will not be protected by FCA’s leverage restrictions
  • You will not have the right to settle disputes via the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
  • You will not be protected by Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
  • Any monies deposited will not be afforded the protection required under the FCA Client Assets Sourcebook. The level of protection for your funds will be determined by the regulations of the relevant local regulator.

If you would like to proceed and visit this website, you acknowledge and confirm the following:

  • 1.The website is owned by Vantage Markets' international entities and not by Vantage Global Prime LLP, which is regulated by the FCA.
  • 2.Vantage Global Limited, or any of the Vantage Markets international entities, are neither based in the UK nor licensed by the FCA.
  • 3.You are accessing the website at your own initiative and have not been solicited by Vantage Global Limited in any way.
  • 4.Investing through this website does not grant you the protections provided by the FCA.
  • 5.Should you choose to invest through this website or with any of the international Vantage Markets entities, you will be subject to the rules and regulations of the relevant international regulatory authorities, not the FCA.

Vantage wants to make it clear that we are duly licensed and authorised to offer the services and financial derivative products listed on our website. Individuals accessing this website and registering a trading account do so entirely of their own volition and without prior solicitation.

By confirming your decision to proceed with entering the website, you hereby affirm that this decision was solely initiated by you, and no solicitation has been made by any Vantage entity.

I confirm my intention to proceed and enter this website Please direct me to the website operated by Vantage Global Prime LLP, regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom

By providing your email and proceeding to create an account on this website, you acknowledge that you will be opening an account with Vantage Global Limited, regulated by the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC), and not the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    Please tick all to proceed

  • Please tick the checkbox to proceed
  • Please tick the checkbox to proceed
Proceed Please direct me to website operated by Vantage Global Prime LLP, regulated by the FCA in the United Kingdom.


Watch Reborn a Trader


View More
  • All
  • Search
  • Forex Trading
  • Vantage Rewards
  • Spreads
  • facebook
  • instagram
  • twitter
  • linkedin
  • youtube
Prime Broker vs Executing Broker in Trading


Prime Broker vs Executing Broker in Trading

Prime Broker vs Executing Broker in Trading

Vantage Updated Updated Thu, 2022 July 7 02:29

There are a few different types of brokers in the financial markets. Retail traders typically don’t come in contact with prime brokers, as prime brokers are typically used by institutional traders to buy and sell securities.

Another type of broker is an executing broker. Executing brokers are responsible for completing trades on behalf of their clients. Retail traders typically come in contact with executing brokers rather than prime brokers.

Key Points

  • Prime brokers cater to institutional clients like hedge funds, offering a suite of services including liquidity sourcing and transaction settlement, while executing brokers focus on completing trades on behalf of clients, often used by retail traders.
  • Prime brokerage services include market access, credit relationships, collateral holding, and completing transaction settlements for institutional clients, aiming to centralise the various trading activities under one roof.
  • Executing brokers, often operating under prime brokers, ensure swift transaction completion at competitive costs, and are remunerated through commissions and bid-ask spreads.

What is a Prime Broker

A prime broker is not an executing broker, but rather a specialised service provider for institutional traders, such as hedge funds, who need to carry out major transactions. A prime brokerage is a bundled group of services offered by investment banks and other large financial institutions to hedge funds and other investment clients. 

Prime Brokerage offers a suite of services to hedge funds and institutional traders to complete major transactions. A prime brokerage allows a client to source liquidity from a variety of executing brokers while maintaining a credit relationship, placing collateral, and settling transactions. Prime brokerage services are provided by most of the largest financial services firms, including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Credit Suisse.[1] 

  1. Typical Participants

    • Although the development of prime brokerages largely coincided with the growth of the hedge fund industry, the modern prime brokers have a diverse client base, including hedge funds, CTAs, small banks, asset managers, endowment funds, foundations, partnerships, private family offices, and pension funds.[2] 
  2. Core Services of A Prime Broker

    • A prime broker aims to provide a one-stop service – it provides market liquidity pools, maintains credit relationships through margin financing and securities lending, holds collaterals, and completes transaction settlements for the institutional clients. These services allow institutional clients to borrow securities and cash to trade on a netted basis and obtain an absolute return.[3]
  3. Benefits of Using A Prime Broker

    • Traditionally, the strongest benefit of a prime broker is improving efficiency. This means that when the prime broker is informed of the transaction by both the client and executing dealer, the prime broker (and not the client) becomes the party to the transaction with the executing dealer.
    • However, with new financial technology, many prime brokers have now begun to provide trade execution via electronic communication networks (ECN) and electronic broking platforms. These platforms allow for algorithmic trading – trading through an API that provides access to executable prices via a two-way message interface between the market and a client’s internal trading infrastructure.
    • This means that not only the prime broker is the party of the transaction with the executing dealer, but the identity of the client is also completely withheld.[4]

Executing Brokers

Executing brokers are often housed under a prime broker who offers a one-stop-shop service for large active traders.

The function of the executing broker is to locate the securities for a buy order or to locate a buyer for the sell order. This intermediary service is essential because a transaction must be done with speed and at a low cost for the client.

The executing broker is compensated through a combination of commissions and the bid-ask spread. The executing broker will also pass the trade to be executed by the clearing group of the prime brokerage.

Executing Brokers and Retail Traders

As the name suggests, an executing broker is a broker or dealer that processes a buy or sell order on behalf of a client. As a result, orders initiated by retail traders are eventually processed by executing brokers.

Today, retail traders typically use online trading platforms that have built-in risk parameters, thanks to the Know Your Client (KYC) process. The electronic platforms will screen for violations of the risk parameters based on KYC, and if an order is accepted, it is processed by the executing broker who has the duty of “best execution”, meaning offering the most favorable terms of execution.[5,6] 

Relationships Between Prime Brokers and Executing Brokers

A prime broker’s client conducts trade with an executing dealer in the name of its prime broker. When the prime broker is informed of the transaction by both the client and the executing broker, the prime broker becomes the party to the transaction with the executing dealer.

The prime broker and the executing broker confirm and settle the trade, while the prime broker settles with the client on a net basis. The fee for using the services of the prime broker is determined by the agreement with the client and is typically based on the transaction volume.

In the provision of services, a prime broker is a general practitioner. An executing broker, on the other hand, is a specialist.

Prime brokers provide an entire suite of services, beyond simply trade execution that executing brokers would provide. Executing brokers specialize in the execution of specific asset types, such as CFDs on equities, futures, forex bonds, etc. Some also specialize in specialized assets, have special execution algorithms, or have high-frequency trading (HFT) infrastructure available for client use.

Prime brokers and executing brokers form market infrastructures that allow for the efficient functioning of the financial markets, and the institutional traders will often use both in their trading. This is because, given the size and depth of the financial markets, no broker has an exhaustive list of all of the potential counterparties suitable for a client’s transaction. The more access a client has to a variety of brokers, the more access he/she has to the liquidity from different sources. 


In conclusion, prime brokers and executing brokers are essential to the seamless functioning of the financial markets. They play a crucial role in connecting buyers and sellers, providing liquidity and quick trade execution, as well as efficient and dependable order routing and clearing.  

With the help of execution brokers, commercial banks, and clearing brokers, large transactions can be completed with ease, allowing trade orders to be executed within a matter of milliseconds. A prime broker offers a comprehensive suite of services, including market liquidity pools, margin lending, and stock loan, while an executing broker executes trades on a client’s behalf. 

Having a brokerage account with a prime broker enables institutional traders to access a variety of executing brokers while maintaining a credit relationship and completing settlements. The prime broker and the executing broker work in collaboration with the clearing corporation to ensure the smooth functioning of the financial markets. 

In summary, prime brokers and executing brokers, along with clearing corporations, play a critical role in the functioning of the financial markets, and traders should choose the right broker dealers that best suit their needs. 


  1. “Prime Brokerage 101 – Forbes” Accessed 6 Apr. 2022.
  2. “Forex Exchange Prime Brokerage Product Overview and Best Practice Recommendation – Federal Reserve Bank of New York” Accessed 6 Apr. 2022.
  3. “The Role of a Prime Broker – Investopia” Access 6 Apr. 2022.
  4. “Forex Exchange Prime Brokerage Product Overview and Best Practice Recommendation – Federal Reserve Bank of New York” Accessed 6 Apr. 2022.
  5. “Executing Broker – Investopia” Access 7 Apr. 2022.
  6. “Trade Execution –” 16 Jan. 2013, Accessed 15 Jun. 2022.
  • vantage academy open account

    Open Trading Account

    Discover the endless trading possibilities with our cutting-edge platform, designed to empower both beginners and seasoned traders alike.

  • vantage academy app

    Download Vantage App

    Trade on the go with the Vantage All-In-One Trading App, where smooth execution and market access come together in the palm of your hand.

  • vantage academy start trading

    Start Trading

    Are you an existing user? Login to your account to start trading 1,000+ products including forex, indices, gold, shares and more.