Cantor Fitzgerald launches private equity arm

The US interdealer broker is joining the ranks of institutions with a buyout fund to invest on its own and alongside clients and has hired a veteran banker to spearhead its efforts.

Cantor Fitzgerald, an interdealer broker, is setting up a private equity fund and has hired Burke Dempsey, an investment banking veteran, as managing director of Cantor Capital Partners.

Howard Lutnick, chairman and chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald, said “In establishing Cantor Capital Partners, we now have the ability to act as both principal and agent in corporate transactions, providing investment capital and advisory resources to our clients.”

Dempsey said the move came “during a watershed period in the way investment capital is being allocated to middle market companies.”

Dempsey, an investment banker for over 20 years, was most recently a managing director at Presidio Financial Partners.  Before Presidio, Dempsey was a managing director in corporate finance at Swiss bank UBS.

Cantor joins a growing list of financial institutions setting up private equity businesses or returning to the asset class, including many of Wall Street’s biggest brand names. Cantor has been expanding its business, building up a small investment bank and working on plans for the US flotation of brokerage BGC.