12.23.2011
By Terry Flanagan

Ex MF Global Exec Moves

Tarnished MF Global sees top executive move to UBS, in an effort to strengthen the firm’s buy side.

The financial crisis of 2008 left the markets with a new set of rules, and many jobless. For instance, the Volcker Rule took away the job of many proprietary traders. When banks made cuts in this area, top talent flocked to start or partake in ventures in the less constricted hedge fund industry.

The recent MF Global bankruptcy is the eighth-largest bankruptcy in the U.S. and has spelled a downfall for the majority of the trouble brokerage’s workforce, excluding a few of the top talent.

Peter Forlenza, MF Global’s former head of equities for will join Swiss banking giant, UBS as the head of stock trading in the Americas.
The move follows a recent UBS $2.3 billion loss from unauthorized trading within their investment banking division. Forlenza’s hire is anticipated to be one of the firm’s biggest decisions as UBS plans to “focus and amplify its asset management business, and shrink its investment banking operations,” according to unnamed source who was not authorized to speak with the press.

The focus on asset management will come in lieu of “equity proprietary trading and equity-linked and synthetic-equity businesses,” reported Bloomberg.

Forlenza’s former posts include global head of equities at Bank of America and perhaps most notably, starting and leading global macro hedge fund, Outpost Investment Group.

Forlenza’s is not a solo hire for UBS. The bank has also hired former loan trader, Mike Weir from Citadel Securities to head the bank’s loan trading.

The recent hiring of Forlenza is a rare occurrence for those affected by the MF Global bankruptcy; not only are widespread employees left without benefits, and jobs, but the firm’s customers have also felt the ill effects of the firms’ troubles.

“Many of MF Global’s customers go beyond the speculators and traders—a lot of them are farmers that used futures contracts within the commodities markets to hedge and protect against price swings,” said a source familiar with the matter. “Forlenza’s hiring is a rare example of those more fortunate from the bankruptcy.”

Neither a spokesperson from UBS, MF Global, nor Forlenza could be reached for comment.

Related articles