Cantor moves Frankfurt and Paris operations to London

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The Independent Online

Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond broker, is to relocate its Frankfurt and Paris operations to London in the wake of the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre, in which it lost more than 730 employees.

Analysts said the closure of the Frankfurt and Paris offices was probably an acceleration of existing plans. The company has been migrating business conducted over the telephone on to its eSpeed electronic trading platform, which allows it to work internationally irrespective of the location of its offices.

"We're looking at how best to manage and grow the business, and there should be no surprises that that will see some consolidation," a spokesman said. There were no details of how much the relocation move would save.

The company's 20 staff in Paris and 28 in Frankfurt have all been offered jobs in London. Its Milan office will remain open.

There would be no changes to the company's product offering following the moves, Cantor said. The London office, which employs 750 people, already conducts the bulk of the company's European business and has been working at full capacity following the terrorist atrocities in the United States. Cantor is the dominant broker for trading in US treasury notes between bond dealers. Before the attacks it handled a quarter of all interdealer bond trades, worth about $250bn (£172bn) a day. Its offices on the top floors of One World Trade Centre employed about 1,000 people.

Howard Lutnick, the chairman and chief executive, last week said the company would donate a quarter of its profits to the families of its victims of the attacks. The families will also receive health insurance for 10 years.

The company rejected reports it was offering extraordinary sums to poach staff from rival brokerages in London. "Hiring activity in London [is] the same today as [it was] before 11 September," a spokesman said. "In keeping with industry practices, upfront payments may sometimes be part of an incentive package. We are not offering unusually large upfront payments."