Cantor Fitzgerald finalises takeover of broker Dolmen
US securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald has completed the long-mooted takeover of Irish stockbroker Dolmen. It plans to create at least 200 jobs and intends applying to be a primary dealer in Irish government debt.
The amount paid for the Irish broker has not been disclosed. The main beneficiaries are the firm’s chief executive, Ronan Reid, and director Gerardine Jones, who combined own close to 50 per cent of the firm. The others to benefit from the deal are director Paul McGowan; Garrett Kelleher, a shareholder and property developer whose bank debts are in the National Asset Management Agency; and 10 staff.
Cantor’s takeover of Dolmen, which has been the subject of discussions for about a year, is the first Irish acquisition by the firm, which plans to apply to be a primary dealer in government bonds in Ireland.
“We are looking to be the number one fixed-income dealer in Ireland in a relatively short period of time,” Shawn Matthews, chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald Co, the company’s brokerage and investment bank arm, told Bloomberg. “We are still aggressively looking to expand. I can see us adding at least 200 people over the next year.”
Mr Reid told The Irish Times Cantor was attracted to Dolmen’s trading business in the secondary bond markets and to its stockbroking and private client business.
The 17-year-old firm was close to break-even in 2011, he said, and would return to profitability this year on estimated revenue of about €14 million.
Dolmen still lags rival stockbroking firms Davy and Goodbody in bond trading and general stockbroking business.
Mr Reid said Cantor’s interest is to grow the business to compete with Davy, which is owned by management and staff, and Goodbody, which is owned by Kerry-based financial services company Fexco.
Cantor Fitzgerald is the firm that suffered most casualties in the the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. The firm lost 658 of the 960 staff in its Manhattan offices that day.
The acquisition is the latest development in a stockbroking market that has undergone major consolidation in recent years following a heavy fall in share trading during the crash. South African bank Investec bought NCB Stockbrokers in June. Rival broker Bloxham was put into liquidation in May over accounting irregularities.