Fearless growth isn’t a strategy embraced by all that many financial firms post-crisis. Cantor Fitzgerald appears one of the outliers. The U.S. investment bank continued its diversification strategy over the last week with two new acquisitions aimed at improving its footing in the money management industry. Company execs tell us they’re nowhere near done with their growth plans, which will include hiring.
On Monday, Cantor acquired fund of funds manager Fintan Partners for an undisclosed sum. The move comes just a week after the New York firm purchased the core business of Pittsburgh-based First Commonwealth Financial Advisors, a wealth manager. Cantor, once largely reliant on trading revenue, has been entering less volatile and, at the moment, more profitable businesses like hedge funds, real estate and asset management.
With its recent spate of acquisitions – four in the last year – Cantor now controls more than $3 billion in assets, Stan Gregor, president and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald Wealth Partners, told eFinancialCareers. That number is likely to rise if all things go to plan. The firm is “actively looking for opportunities for growth, both through acquisition of businesses and human capital,” said Gregor.
The same goes for Cantor’s asset management business, although Dave Goldfarb, the unit’s senior managing director, admits that the business is still in its early stages.
“In implementing this growth strategy, we will continue to be very selective and only align ourselves with the best and brightest talents and platforms in the industry,” Goldfarb said.
Aggressive hiring plans aren’t new to Cantor Fitzgerald. Bloomberg published a rather scathing article last year, noting Cantor has become a bit of a revolving door for banking talent. But the firm’s money management businesses are rather new, with its wealth unit less than a year old. We’ll have to wait and see how well Cantor can recruit and retain money managers. The war over wealth managers with proven books of business is as competitive as it is expensive. Some brokers are offered six- and seven-figure deals to move firms. Hence the acquisitions. All things considered, they may be cheaper.