Cantor Fitzgerald looks to rebuild from London

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Cantor Fitzgerald has launched a hiring drive in London in its first moves to rebuild the firm, which was devastated by the attacks in the US last month.

The firm is hiring staff to cope with a system of late-night shifts that Cantor has launched since the events in the US. It could result in a long-term move of much of Cantor's business from New York to London.

Since the attacks, in which more than 700 staff at Cantor's New York headquarters were killed, the London office has been covering the European and US markets, with many staff working from 7.00am until midnight.

One source at the firm in London said: 'The London office is effectively working London and New York hours. We are working additional late shifts, which is unsustainable without additional staff.'

The shift in US trading to the London office, which employs 600 people, could become permanent. 'This is not necessarily a temporary move,' one source said.

The firm is looking to hire more staff to avoid relocating significant numbers of workers between the US and Europe, where Cantor's business is headed by Lee Amaitis. While some business, such as interest rates swaps, has been transferred to Cantor's Chicago office and other branches in Boston and Florida, the firm is keen to avoid transferring hundreds of staff across the Atlantic.

In the US, Cantor has focused on getting eSpeed, its electronic brokerage business, up and running since the attacks. Last week, Howard Lutnick, head of Cantor, said the firm had not restarted voice broking in the US market and would focus on eSpeed. The structure of the new business has yet to be decided. 'We are looking at the balance between voice and electronic broking, which will obviously reshape the business,' one source said.

Cantor is understood to have hired Cameron Moore, a financial markets headhunter, to help find staff. The hiring programme could end the unspoken truce between Cantor and its main rivals in the broking market, such as Icap and Tullett and Tokyo. In the past, the three firms were often locked in litigation over mass team hires.