* Many no longer coming in to work
* Recruiters getting flooded with resumes
* Jobs are scarce now
By Lauren Tara LaCapra
NEW YORK, Nov 2 Workers at MF Global Holdings
Ltd have been racing to get hired before thousands of
other recently laid-off Wall Street peers.
But with a pile of resumes on hiring managers' desks, the
odds of finding a job for many of MF's 2,900 employees in the
near term are slim, according to recruiters and competitors who
have been interviewing them.
"They're scrambling to find new homes, but the hiring
environment is far from welcoming right now," said Gregory
Cresci, a recruiter with Odyssey Search Partners, who has been
fielding queries from MF workers.
Adam Zoia, founder of the headhunting firm Glocap Search,
said his office has received 30 MF Global resumes in the last
two days, compared with one or two per month ordinarily.
Some MF Global workers are still coming into their office
in Midtown Manhattan to help customers liquidate positions and
prepare to move funds to new brokerage firms, clients said.
Other employees will sell or unwind positions from MF's
proprietary book of business.
But because MF Global is banned from putting on new trades
by major exchanges, much of its workforce has been idle since
the firm filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday.
John Lothian, a commodities trading adviser who sends out a
daily markets newsletter, said his emails to MF Global contacts
received "out of office" responses, even on Friday, as the
company's stock plummeted and its viability was in question.
"They were staying home or working from home," he said.
"What was the point of coming in?"
Doors have been locked at MF Global's Chicago office since
Monday when workers were escorted out, a source familiar with
the matter said. Half a dozen employees in New York this week
said they had not received any official company guidance about
their jobs and were following news reports for updates about
Some workers joined MF Global weeks before its demise. They
are bitter about their bad luck and MF's bankruptcy coming just
before the holidays and just before bonus time.
"I just spoke to a guy in fixed income who joined a week
and a half ago," said one recruiter. "Maybe he can go back and
work for the place he just left, but it will be a tough sell."
Calls and emails sent to MF Global spokespeople were not
returned this week.
10 MORE DAYS OF PAY
It is a particularly tough time for MF Global employees to
be jobless: financial services firms have announced 54,510
layoffs in the United States this year, according to consulting
firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Most major banks have
announced cost-cutting measures that include job cuts.
For the next 10 days, MF Global's employees can get paid. A
bankruptcy judge on Tuesday approved MF Global's request to use
$8 million in cash collateral held by JPMorgan Chase & Co to keep the company running. After that, workers may be
left out in the cold entirely and are wasting no time to find
MF Global Chief Executive Jon Corzine tried to transform MF
Global from a brokerage that matched up buyers and sellers into
an investment bank that bet on markets and carried inventories
As part of that transformation, Corzine laid off nearly
1,400 employees and hired 1,100 new staffers whose work better
suited the business. Total headcount was nearly 2,900 at the
end of September, according to an MF Global presentation.
MF Global's rank-and-file employees generally fit into one
of two categories, recruiters said: agency traders who mainly
facilitated client trades and proprietary traders who placed
bets with the firm's own capital.
Employees on the agency side may find new homes at
competing brokerage houses like Newedge, ICAP or GFI Group,
recruiters said, while prop traders are more likely to land at
Some top performers are hoping for jobs at large trading
houses like Goldman Sachs Group Inc , Morgan Stanley or Bank of America Corp , but since those firms
are cutting back on staff, it will be more difficult.
"The best chance for a new employer if MF Global is able to
sell off some of its units, and employees can stay with the
acquiring firm," said Alan Guarino, global sector leader in
financial markets at recruiting firm Korn/Ferry.
But as clients prepare to move assets to new trading firms,
time is running out.
"Everybody flees while they can because no one wants to get
caught up in the liquidation vortex," said Andrew Stoltmann, a
bankruptcy attorney in Chicago. "Time is of the essence right
now. The firm is basically a wasting asset."