One More Thing: Hot under the collar over at stockbroking firm Cantor

 

Cantor Fitzgerald Ireland, formerly Dolmen stockbrokers, is still on the acquisition trail after missing out on Prescient Asset Management, the former AIB Investment Managers bought by Davy in November for up to €6.2 million.

Cantor, run by chief executive Ronan Reid, wanted to buy the business but came too late to the table, with Davy practically home and dry in the negotiations before it made its interest known.

We’re not quite at Wolf of Wall Street proportions just yet, but the good times are definitely back for Dublin’s stockbrokers. They are slashing each other’s throats to hire the best asset management staff.

Cantor, along with other brokers, is finding it difficult to secure suitable executives, so insiders reckon it will “buy if it can’t hire”. Apparently it is on the lookout for acquisitions of “a similar size” to Prescient, which had about €2 billion under management. Brokers, start putting your best foot forward.

It isn’t just competition for staff that is hotting up at Cantor. It has finally lost patience with its landlord Shelbourne Developments, owned by Garrett Kelleher but controlled by a Grant Thornton receiver, over air-conditioning issues at its St Stephen’s Green headquarters.

Cantor last week lobbed in a High Court writ over the issue against Shelbourne, whose loans on the building were recently bought by Lone Star. Things got so bad during the recent hot summer that Cantor was forced to send its staff home and implement a “business continuity plan”, which sets out which staff work where in the event they have to leave the building in a hurry.

As for Reid, I hear he has his arm in a cast after an unfortunate accident at home on Christmas Eve. There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that he hurt it banging his fist on the table in anguish over missing out on Prescient.

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