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Cantor Expands Whole Loan Acquisitions Unit

2 managing directors added

June 9, 2009

By staff

Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., which literally rose from the ashes of the World Trade Center, has expanded its whole-loan acquisition program to meet growing demand from hedge funds.

In an announcement today, the New York-based financial services firm said it hired two whole-loan specialists for its debt capital markets group.

Lee Hetfield and Jason Kopcak were hired as managing directors and co-heads of whole-loan sales and trading. The two reportedly have experience with distressed securities as well as backgrounds in the origination of, and investment in, commercial and residential whole loans.

Cantor Chief Executive Officer Shawn Matthews said in the statement that the two executives are a nice compliment to the existing sales force -- which is increasingly dealing with hedge funds interested in whole-loan purchases.

"Jason and Lee had a vision to create a more efficient market for banks looking to clean up their balance sheets as well as banks looking to take advantage of the attractive prevailing yields in the whole loan markets," Matthews stated. "Jason's strong understanding of the collateral and unique capital market relationships and Lee's experience in real estate and distressed investing seemed a great combination, especially in light of concentration on all manner of mortgage-backed securities."

In all, Cantor said it added more than 125 sales and trading professionals last year in addition to 25 new strategic hires.

In 2001, Cantor employed around 1,000 people on the top floors of One World Trade Center It was a big player in the MBS market.

On Sept. 11, 2001 -- 658 Cantor employees died.

The firm's rise from the ashes was the subject of On Top of the World, a book by author Tom Barbash about Cantor's struggle to stay in business and help its employees' families.
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