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Cantor Adds Team From Sterne Agee to Expand in Municipal Bonds

Cantor Fitzgerald LP, the investment bank planning to add 800 people, hired four employees from Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. to strengthen its municipal bond unit in debt capital markets.

Jim Dolan, previously a senior managing director of municipal bonds at Sterne Agee, will head the municipal division, New York-based Cantor said today in an e-mailed statement. John Donovan will be a managing director of trading and underwriting, and Susan Marron joins as a senior vice president of sales. Dennis DiCicco will be a vice president of institutional sales.

Cantor is “confident that their extensive experience and strong industry relationships will make an immediate and positive contribution,” Shawn Matthews, chief executive officer of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., said in the statement.

Howard Lutnick, chairman and CEO of the parent company, is pushing ahead with plans to expand in capital markets and grow outside the U.S. as a decline in trading pressures profit at the brokerage unit. Moody’s Investors Service cut Cantor’s debt to junk this month, saying the expansion failed to boost income enough and compensation costs have been “stubbornly high.”

The downgrade won’t have an impact on Cantor’s hiring strategy, Matthews said today in a phone interview.

“We’re clearly looking to build our franchise,” he said. “We’ve always told people that when times are tough -- and the markets are pretty difficult right now -- we would always make less money. When times are good, we’ll make more.”

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