Cantor Fitzgerald Sued by Former Head of Investment Banking

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Steven Kantor, Cantor Fitzgerald LP’s former head of investment banking, sued the bond brokerage in a contract dispute, according to Delaware court filings.

Kantor, now the head of the merchant banking firm S2K Partners, is asking a Delaware Chancery Court judge to find his former colleagues at Cantor, one of the largest independent U.S. brokerages, violated a limited partnership agreement, according to the filings.

The complaint in the case was filed Wednesday under seal, but court rules required Kantor’s lawyers to provide a form that describes the nature of their claims against Cantor Fitzgerald.

Kantor, who left Cantor Fitzgerald in 2013 according to a filing with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, was part of Chief Executive Officer Howard Lutnick’s drive to turn the brokerage into a rival to Wall Street’s investment banks.

Karen Laureano-Rikardsen, a Cantor Fitzgerald spokeswoman, didn’t have an immediate comment on the suit. Kantor also declined to comment on it.

Kantor’s lawyers said in the court filings the case was filed under seal “because it refers to agreements that have confidentiality provisions.”

Sept. 11 Deaths

In the decade since terrorists killed 658 Cantor employees in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center, Lutnick has rebuilt the brokerage, which has said it gave more than $180 million to families of the dead.

The private partnership now employs 1,600 worldwide, according to Cantor’s website. Its salespeople earn commissions by matching buyers and sellers of stocks and bonds.

Cantor Fitzgerald also is being sued in Delaware by two former managing directors who claim they were wrongfully denied payment for some partnership interests after joining a Chinese bank.

Jason Boyer, the former head of Cantor’s Hong Kong office, and Bradford Ainslie, formerly the co-head of equity sales and trading in the same branch, alleged in the Delaware Chancery Court lawsuit that they “did not receive any payment for the value” of the partnership interests after they left in 2001 to join ReOrient Group Ltd.

Proctor Heyman Enerio LLP, the same Wilmington, Delaware-based law firm that sued on behalf of Ainslie and Boyer, also filed Kantor’s suit against the bond brokerage.

The cases are Kantor v. Cantor Fitzgerald LP, CA No. 10967, and Ainslie v. Cantor Fitzgerald LP, CA No. 9436, Delaware Chancery Court (Wilmington).

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