Gleacher to Exit Fixed-Income, in Talks on Combination

Gleacher & Co., the New York-based brokerage that lost $159.8 million in the past two years, will exit the fixed-income business and is in preliminary talks with another company on a possible combination.

The decision will affect about 160 employees in units including mortgage-backed securities and rates and credit products, Gleacher said today in a statement.

Gleacher has been losing staff and clients have reduced or suspended trading because of “questions regarding the strategic direction of the company,” the firm said in its annual report filed March 18. Gleacher also said at the time it has had “significant turnover” among its workers.

Gleacher, whose shares were halted pending the announcement, has plunged by more than half since the end of 2011. The stock closed yesterday at 68 cents.

“The plan does not include the company’s other business operations, principally investment banking,” Gleacher said in the statement.