Cantor Fitzgerald bids to rescue Seymour Pierce

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American financial services group Cantor Fitzgerald is nearing a deal to secure the future of Seymour Pierce, one of the City’s oldest stock-brokers.

The two firms are believed to have been locked in talks over recent days to agree a rescue.

Seymour Pierce, which traces its name back to 1883, employs 80 people and is best known for advising on the sale of Premier League football clubs, including the 2003 acquisition of Chelsea by Roman Abramovich.

The 130-year-old firm has been hit by a slump in deals in the wake of the financial crisis, and was thought to have administrators on standby if talks over bringing in new investment proved fruitless. Recent moves to bring in a Ukrainian investor were blocked by the Financial Services Authority.

Cantor Fitzgerald, which is seeking to “aggressively expand” in Europe this year, recently appointed Anthony Simpson – managing director of investment manager MKP Capital Europe – as a non-executive 
director to provide “guidance and advice” on its European strategy.

Seymour Pierce, which declined to comment, is part-owned by financier Keith Harris, a member of the “Red Knights” consortium that tried to buy Manchester United in 2010.

The firm sank to a pre-tax loss of almost £600,000 in the year to 30 September 2011.