|Industry||Banking, Financial services|
|Headquarters||New York City|
|Howard W. Lutnick (Chairman and CEO)|
Anshu Jain (President, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.)
Number of employees
Cantor Fitzgerald is an American financial services firm that was founded in 1945. It specializes in institutional equity, fixed income sales and trading, and serving the middle market with investment banking services, prime brokerage, and commercial real estate financing. It is also active in new businesses, including advisory and asset management services, gaming technology, and e-commerce. It has more than 5,000 institutional clients.
Cantor Fitzgerald's 1,600 employees work in more than 30 locations, including financial centers in the Americas, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East. Together with its affiliates, Cantor Fitzgerald operates in more than 60 offices in 20 countries and has more than 8,500 employees.
In 2001, the firm's headquarters were destroyed in the September 11 attacks, killing every employee who reported to work that day. In 2011, Cantor's affiliate, BGC Partners, expanded into commercial real estate services by its purchase of Newmark Knight Frank and the assets of Grubb & Ellis, to form Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.
Cantor Fitzgerald was formed in 1945 by Bernard Gerald Cantor and John Fitzgerald as an investment bank and brokerage business. It later became known for its computer-based bond brokerage, for the quality of its institutional distribution business model, and for being the market's premier dealer of government securities.
In 1965, Cantor Fitzgerald began "large block" sales/trading of equities for institutional customers. It became the world's first electronic marketplace for US government securities in 1972 and in 1983, it was the first to offer worldwide screen brokerage services in US government securities.
Cantor Fitzgerald's corporate headquarters and New York City office, on the 101st to the 105th floors of One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan (2 to 6 floors above the impact zone of a hijacked airliner), were destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks. At 8:46:46 a.m., six seconds after the tower was struck by the plane, a Goldman Sachs server issued an alert saying that its trading system had gone offline because it was unable to connect with the server. Since all stairwells leading past the impact zone were destroyed by the initial crash or blocked with smoke, fire, or debris, every employee who reported for work that morning was killed in the attacks; 658 of its 960 New York employees were killed, or 68.5% of its total workforce, which was considerably more than any of the other World Trade Center tenants, the Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department, the Fire Department, or the Department of Defense. CEO Howard Lutnick himself was not present because he was taking his son to his first day of kindergarten, but his younger brother, Gary, was among those killed. Lutnick vowed to keep the company alive, and the company was able to bring its trading markets back online within a week.
On September 19, Cantor Fitzgerald made a pledge to distribute 25% of the firm's profits for the next five years, and it committed to paying for ten years of health care for the benefit of the families of its 658 former Cantor Fitzgerald, eSpeed, and TradeSpark employees (profits that would otherwise have been distributed to the Cantor Fitzgerald partners). In 2006, the company had completed its promise, having paid a total of $180 million (and an additional $17 million from a relief fund run by Lutnick's sister, Edie).
Until the attacks, Cantor had handled about a quarter of the daily transactions in the multitrillion-dollar treasury security market. Cantor Fitzgerald has since rebuilt its infrastructure, partly by the efforts of its London office, and it now has its headquarters in Midtown Manhattan. The company's effort to regain its footing was the subject of Tom Barbash's 2003 book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal as well as a 2012 documentary, Out of the Clear Blue Sky.
On September 2, 2004, Cantor and other organizations filed a civil lawsuit against Saudi Arabia for allegedly providing money to the hijackers and Al Qaeda. It was later joined in the suit by the Port Authority of New York. Most of the claims against Saudi Arabia were dismissed on January 18, 2005.
In December 2013, Cantor Fitzgerald settled its lawsuit against American Airlines for $135 million. Cantor Fitzgerald had been suing for loss of property and interruption of business by alleging the airline to have been negligent by allowing hijackers to board Flight 11.
In 2003, the firm launched its fixed income sales and trading group.
In 2009, the firm launched Cantor Prime Services, a provider of multi-asset, perimeter brokerage prime brokerage platforms to exploit its clearing, financing, and execution capabilities.
Cantor Fitzgerald began building its real estate business with the launch of CCRE in 2010.
Edie wrote An Unbroken Bond: The Untold Story of How the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald Families Faced the Tragedy of 9/11 and Beyond. All proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and the charities that it assists.
The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund provided $10 million to families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Howard Lutnick and the Relief Fund "adopted" 19 elementary schools in impacted areas by distributing $1,000 prepaid debit cards to each family from the schools. A total of $10 million in funds was given to families affected by the storm.
Two days after the 2013 Moore tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people and injuring hundreds, Lutnick pledged to donate $2 million to families affected by the tornado. The donation was given out in the form of $1,000 debit cards given out to families.
Each year, on September 11, Cantor Fitzgerald and its affiliate, BGC Partners, donate 100% of their revenue to charitable causes on their annual Charity Day, which was originally established to raise money to assist the families of the Cantor employees who died in the World Trade Center attacks. Since its inception, Charity Day has raised $110 million for charities globally.
Subsidiaries and affiliates
The firm has many subsidiaries and affiliates such as the following:
- Aqua Securities is an alternative trading system for block trades that is currently used by nearly 200 institutions and brokers as an alternative to algorithmic trading of large orders.
- BGC Partners, named after fixed income trading innovator and founder B. Gerald Cantor, is a global brokerage company that services the wholesale financial markets and commercial real estate marketplace in New York, London, and other financial centers. BGC Partners includes Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the fourth-largest real estate service provider in the US.
- Cantor Ventures is the corporate venture capital and enterprise development arm of the company. Led by Henrique De Castro, the group's current investments include delivery.com, Ritani, TopLine Game Labs, AdFin, Lucera, NewsWhip, and XIX Entertainment.
- Delivery.com is an online destination for consumers to shop in their neighborhood merchants, including local restaurants, grocers, wine and liquor stores, florists, and other retail and service providers.
- Global Gaming Asset Management is an investment vehicle formed by Cantor and former executives of Las Vegas Sands to invest in, acquire, develop, manage, and advise casino operators and other gaming assets.
- Hollywood Stock Exchange, founded in 1996, is the world's virtual entertainment stock market.
- TopLine Game Labs is a technology company to create short-duration fantasy sports and entertainment-based social gaming. Headquartered in Los Angeles, TopLine Game Labs was, in 2013, building a platform-agnostic architecture to power game experiences for sports.
Management and directors
- Howard Lutnick, chairman and chief executive officer
- Anshu Jain, president 
- Stephen Merkel, executive managing director, general counsel, secretary and director
- Steve Bisgay, chief financial officer
An employee, Venetia Thompson, published, in February 2008, an article in The Spectator about her and her colleagues' behavior, with an emphasis on the drinking culture. She was subsequently fired for gross misconduct. She responded in 2010 by publishing a book, Gross Misconduct: My Year of Excess in the City, about her experiences.
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