As it prepares to move into its new New York midtown digs, Cantor Fitzgerald LP is in the midst of a massive hiring spree to greatly expand the firm's debt capital markets division. Cantor announced the addition of 15 staffers earlier this month and is looking to hire 150 over the next year.

The latest hires will focus on building the debt capital markets and asset management division's corporate bond trading business, as well as its mortgage- and asset-backed securities, global futures and repos divisions, said Irv Goldman, chief executive and president of Cantor's debt capital markets and asset management division, who arrived at the firm in July 2003.

"We started building the business when I joined, and it [is] part of Cantor's overall strategic direction to continue the expansion," Goldman said. The firm has hired 150 new employees since that time, with a similarly high amount of new hires expected this year, he said.

Cantor's new New York midtown office, which the New York staffers will move into next month, will be able to accommodate the increase in new employees, Goldman said. "We have currently been in a temporary space since Sept. 11, [2001], and we are moving to our new building on March 18," he said. The new building will have a 250-person trading floor for the debt capital markets division. Now the firm only has space for 90 on its trading floor. Before Sept. 11, 2001, the firm's New York offices were located in the World Trade Center. Cantor lost two-thirds of its staff during the terrorist attacks and has been regrouping and redirecting the firm's efforts since then. At the time, Cantor was known primarily as a dominant player in the U.S. Treasury market.

While Cantor has added staff continually since that time, the beginning of the year is a particularly good time to do so. Now that bonuses have been handed out all over the Street, "People are deciding what they want to do," Goldman said. "And people are joining us based on what we are doing."

Cantor will be adding more people in the asset-backed arena. "That is something we're excited about, [especially] now that the asset-backed market is bigger than the new-issue [collateralized mortgage obligation] market," said Scott Golden, co-head of the firm's mortgage division.

Cantor's debt capital markets and asset management division is also expanding services for interest rate products. "As an adjunct to all the credit-related businesses, mortgage [businesses] and corporate high yield, we've tended to see a lot of demand from our clients to facilitate [services for] a lot of interest-rate products," Goldman explained.

New hires galore

With regard to the most recent new hires to support the firm's immense expansion efforts, there are many. Additions to Cantor's corporate/mortgages division include Kurt Modarelli and Martin Klenert. Senior Vice President, Modarelli, now based in the firm's San Francisco office, was formerly a west coast Treasury specialist for Prudential Securities. Klenert formerly worked at Morgan Stanley as a managing director. He served Morgan Stanley as both a sales manager for MS Canada, as well as a corporate bond trader in New York. Klenert has also worked at First Boston, Lehman Brothers, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Legg Mason.

Cantor's Los Angeles-based west coast sales office also saw two new additions: Harry Fry and Mark Valentine. Fry is now a managing director, focusing on fixed income sales. He most recently worked for Maxcor/Eurobrokers. Valentine, now a senior vice president, also came from Maxcor. He also formerly worked at FTN Financial, Wells Fargo & Company and Citibank.

For the MBS sales team, Cantor hired

John Randolph, Mark Halstead, Samir Shah, Michelle Fredenburg, Steve Blakley, Jeannie Hughes and Frank Edwards. The hires will have a focus on structured products, hedge funds, insurance companies, and money manager coverage. Randolph, Hamstead and Shah all came directly from Amherst Securities Group, while Fredenburg and Hughes came directly from Coastal Securities. Blakley and Edwards came directly from Raymond James.

"As you can tell by the announcement, we have hired a lot in the asset-backed arena," added Golden.

"You can expect further hires in the MBS department," added Steve Bischoff, other co-head of the firm's mortgage division.

In addition, Patrick Lyons, Hans Nelson and Renee Johnson were all hired as senior vice presidents in global futures sales for Cantor, while Ned Smith is set to join the firm as a vice president within the matched book sales department.

Copyright 2005 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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