Cantor Fitzgerald LP plans to hire about 100 people to bolster trading in derivatives and convertible bonds in the coming year as it seeks to increase its equities division and expand outside the U.S.

The New York firm's sales and trading unit will add more traders in London, where larger banks have reduced work forces, and Asia, where demand for equity-linked securities such as options is increasing, according to Shawn Matthews, chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

The company's equities business currently employs fewer than 400 people globally, spokeswoman Melanie Gordon-Felsman said.

Cantor Fitzgerald, one of the 18 primary dealers authorized to trade U.S. government securities with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is expanding its equity, fixed-income and investment banking after more than 300,000 jobs in the financial industry were cut during the worst recession since the Great Depression.

The firm has entered the municipal bond market, started a prime brokerage for hedge fund clients and hired staff for fixed-income sales and trading in Europe in the past year. It also has offices in Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo.

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