Neither a choir leader nor a Jazz Age novelist, this Cantor Fitzgerald probably does sing the praises of strong returns. Cantor Fitzgerald provides a variety of investment services including trading and brokerage, asset management, investment banking, and market research. One of the largest traders of US Treasury securities, it also deals in global equities, bonds, and derivatives. Niche operations include UK spread specialist Cantor Index, the Hollywood Stock Exchange, and Cantor Gaming (technology services for the gaming industry). Cantor Fitzgerald serves more than 5,000 institutional clients from more than 30 offices around the world. B. Gerald Cantor and John Fitzerald co-founded the company in 1945.
Through the years, Cantor Fitzgerald has offered classic financial services while embracing new opportunities in different markets. The company has been referred to as the "broker to the stars," boasting such clients as Zsa Zsa Gabor and Clint Eastwood. It was one of the first to offer after-hours equity trading and one of the first to specialize in private, "off-the-floor" transactions between buyers and sellers.
Technology always has been at the forefront of Cantor Fitzgerald's operations. Majority-owned affiliate BGC Partners is one of the largest inter-dealer brokers in the world. It provides voice and electronic brokerage services including trade execution, clearing, and settlement services, as well as electronic bond trading. In 2011 Cantor Fitzgerald sold its CantorCO2e unit, a specialist in the environmental and alternative energy markets, to BGC Partners.
The company also continues to expand its service offierings. In 2012 it launched a full-service corporate advisory business and make a deal to expand in Canada through the acquisition of the sales and trading, research, and investment banking business of Versant Partners. In 2010 it formed Cantor Commercial Real Estate, which offers a shared model of financing, with plans to develop additional similar ventures.
Cantor Fitzgerald entered the public consciousness in a big way following the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. The firm, which was headquartered on the upper floors of the towers, lost 658 employees -- two-thirds of its staff. The business was back in operation within two days, a feat that was credited with helping to prevent worldwide repercussions in the financial markets. Cantor Fitzgerald attempted to sue Saudi Arabia for its connection with the 9/11 attacks, but the suit was blocked by the US Supreme Court in 2009. The court left intact a lower court ruling that Saudi Arabia and its princes were protected by sovereign immunity. – less