Prebon brokers walk

The move is a reaction to rationalisation of Prebon’s Asian operations following Collins Stewart Tullet’s (CST) acquisition of the firm in October last year, Craig Bannister, former managing director of Prebon’s Singapore business, told RiskNews.

Changes since CST’s take over of Prebon included the consolidation of currency options desks in Asia, leading to staff departures in Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

Bannister says that senior staff who resigned from Prebon to move to BGC include: Jordan Prasad and Rob Burge, both directors of regional interest rate swaps at Prebon; Gary Chua, director and head of non-deliverable forwards; Lim Eng Hee, manager of Singapore interest rate swaps; Alex Francis, manager of Korean interest rate swaps; Anthony Lim, manager of Taiwan interest rate swaps; and Simon Lim manager of Singapore forwards and deposits.

Prebon received resignation letters from most staff on Monday and Tuesday this week, although Bannister himself left Prebon in early January. They follow in the footsteps of Mark Spring, previously deputy director for Asia at Prebon in Singapore, who earlier moved to BGC.

But staff were not immediately able to take up new positions at BGC. Prebon was granted an interim injunction against its rival on Monday preventing would be defectors from starting work at BGC. However, this was lifted after an appeal yesterday afternoon, according to Cantor Fitzgerald officials. A further court case, which is expected sometime in early March, is set to determine the legality of the migration and whether Prebon is due any compensation.

CST officials said in a statement that most of the Prebon staff who resigned are on lengthy contracts that do not expire until “at least the end of 2005”, and that all contracts contain clauses on taking up employment with a competitor. In a separate written statement to RiskNews, officials added: “In this instance, it is unfortunate that certain of our employees have been induced into showing a total disregard for the contractual obligations that they have made to us.”

Cantor Fitzgerald countered: “We are pleased that the High Court of Singapore has set aside the temporary injunction restraining us from employing these brokers. It is their wish to be employed by us and we are now free to do so.”A company official in London added that the firm is committed to international expansion involving the hire of hundreds of new people.

CST said that staff from the company’s original broking arm, Tullet Liberty, have been brought in to cover gaps in Prebon’s Singapore operations.

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