NEW YORK Nov 10 It's never fun to work for a
collapsing firm, but for one group of analysts at MF Global,
the broker-dealer's demise last week carried an extra sting.
The Washington Research Group, a Washington-based office of
17 well-known government policy analysts headed by Edward
Garlich Jr., was bought by MF Global a year ago.
The deal was a chance for the group to break free of its
previous owner, the Stanford Financial Group, which dissolved
in 2009 when founder Allen Stanford was charged with fraud.
The future is uncertain for the Washington analysts now.
Reached on her mobile phone, Anne Mathias, director of research
at the group, said she could not comment on the condition of
the group or whether its members were still going in to work
Asked if she could respond to a question in the normal
realm of policy issues, she replied, "I'm not sure."
At least two analysts' emails are set to an automatic,
out-of-office response that directs all communications to their
personal addresses. Phones ring unanswered at the office.
The group's next task, says policy analyst Dan Ripp,
president of the research firm Bradley Woods & Co., is to find
"They're a top quality group and it's really just bad luck
to be associated with firms over the past few years and those
relationships haven't worked out," Ripp said.
He said the group would likely benefit from connecting to
another Wall Street shop.
"You can't get away from Wall Street entirely because
that's what the business model is based on," Ripp said. "It's
very helpful to be affiliated with a broker-dealer entity
because that facilitates payments. It's much harder for a
research team to get traction if you're independent, which is
why research guys like to hook up with a broker-dealer."
Ripp added that finding another buyer would not be an
"We're living in a world where the demand for public policy
research is as strong as it's ever been," he said. "Their
prospects are terrific."