It's not just Obama: Cantor Fitzgerald is on a hiring roll

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Want to work for Cantor Fitzgerald? We're just asking because the U.S. brokerage firm seems to be making a big push in 2017. - Paying Obama $400k to speak at a conference is just the start.

In the past few weeks, Cantor has hired Chris Spencer from Jefferies for wealth management, Jason Cavalier from RBC as an MD in healthcare M&A, and Garrett Roberts from Guggenheim Partners as an MD in money market sales. Most significantly of all, it's also poached Pascal Bandelier as head of global equities from Barclays.

The new recruits follow a swathe of other senior Cantor hires since January. All are at MD level. Most are on Wall Street.

What's going on? We'd suggest the rush of recruits has one key cause: Anshu Jain. The former Deutsche Bank CEO joined Cantor as president in January.  Back then, Cantor CEO Howard Lutnik said Jain was joining to, "drive the firm’s momentum as it enters the next phase of growth," adding that Cantor would be making the most of Jain's "deep network to further grow" the firm. The FT claimed Jain's big focus will be to help Cantor "push deeper" into prime brokerage and fixed income sales and trading.

Since Jain's arrival, Cantor has indeed supplemented prime broking with the arrival of Greg Dabal from Credit Suisse and Keith Babbitt from Knight Capital to run the securities lending business. However, it has yet to make any significant new hires in fixed income. This could simply be a matter of time: Jain's former employer is surely a fertile hunting ground after fixed income traders after last year's miserable bonuses.  

The flow of headcount at Cantor since Jain's arrival goes both ways. - While senior staff have been coming in, other senior staff have been leaving. In the past few weeks alone, exits include Stephen Muto, an MD who joined from Bear Stearns in 2009, David Sklar, an MD in the prime broking division, and Dan Steeds, a London-based MD in emerging markets trading. Could it be that Jain's clearing the decks for even more hiring as the year progresses?


Photo credit: OBAMA by Sean is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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