Griswold Booth Empty at NYSE as Broker Pulls Registrations

The Griswold Co.’s booth at the New York Stock Exchange was empty today and the company withdrew its dealer registrations, signaling an end of trading for the 25-year-old firm.

Griswold requested to terminate registration with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority yesterday, according to Finra records dated today. Its action came amid a plunge in U.S. equity volume that has squeezed profits for exchanges and the professionals who make their living on them.

Smaller brokerages are finding it harder to earn commissions amid shrinking trading volume and increased automation. ThinkEquity LLC, Rodman & Renshaw LLC and WJB Capital Group Inc. closed last year, while Atlantic Equities LLP, the London-based brokerage, ended a foray into New York. Trading firm Ticonderoga Securities LLC also shut.

Griswold took in $8.4 million in commissions in 2011, the most recent data available, down from $10.6 million the previous year, according to SEC filings. It lost $381,563 in 2011 and $182,980 in 2010. U.S. equity volume slipped to a daily average of 6.41 billion shares last month, compared with 9.77 billion in 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Mark McCooey, president of the company, didn’t return e-mails seeking comment and phone calls to the firm went unanswered. The company was founded in March 1988 by the McCooey family, according to its website. U.S. brokerages must be listed with regulators to operate in the securities industry.

Robert H. McCooey, who was a member of the NYSE for 46 years, created Griswold together with his sons and daughter, according to a 2001 death notice in the New York Times. One of the sons, Robert H. McCooey Jr., is a senior vice president of new listings and capital markets at Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. in New York.

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