Most of the municipal bond department at Cantor Fitzgerald Fixed Income Brokers Inc. informed company executives yesterday they are leaving the firm, several market participants said.
The bulk of those leaving plan to start a municipal finance department at British-owned Tullett & Tokyo Inc., sources say.
Robert Mercorella, a spokesman at Cantor Fitzgerald, said he "would neither confirm nor deny the reports," and had no other comment.
Cantor Fitzgerald, founded in 1947, primarily deals with U.S. Government securities, and has more than 1,000 employees. The municipal bond department, which comprises about 20 professionals, is one of the largest municipal "broker's brokers," or dealer to dealer brokers, in the small fraternity of such companies. The department is particularly active in the trading of paper issued in New York City and New York State, traders said.
Cantor Fitzgerald is one of six brokers that contribute to the evaluations used to put together The Bond Buyer's daily Municipal Bond Index.
Among those leaving the firm are Michael Santiago, executive vice president and manager; Michael J. Clarke, vice president; Steven R. Burstein, vice president; and Charles E. Wood, senior vice president, according to sources at the firm. None of those expected to leave the firm could be reached for comment yesterday.
Tullett & Tokyo is a London-based firm that brokers foreign exchange transactions and U.S. Treasury issues. The firm was in the news last August when it aborted an attempt to purchase Fundamental Brokers Inc., a Treasuries broker.
When Tullett announced it was not going to purchase the firm, fundamental's parent company, MMAR Inc., withdrew $2 million from Fundamental, leaving it with insufficient capital to comply with regulations. Fundamental then closed its doors.