Cantor, which has offices in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, has already approached headhunters about sourcing potential hires, according to people familiar with the matter.
One person familiar with the group’s hiring plans said appointments in the UK, North America and Asia were likely and that more than 50 new staff could be brought in globally.
Cantor has capital markets operations and also runs prime brokerage and investment management businesses.
It is looking to recruit for its investment banking teams and the efforts are being led by New York-based Kelly, who joined earlier in 2016 as the group’s head of investment banking, people said.
The high-profile appointment marked a return to Wall Street for Kelly, who quit his role as global head of healthcare investment banking at Jefferies in December 2014. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that publicity surrounding a divorce and custody proceedings had taken its toll on Kelly, who decided to leave Jefferies to focus on these family matters. The bank had granted him leave of absence in October of that year.
Cantor Fitzgerald had plans in place to expand “aggressively” across asset management and investment banking before Kelly joined. FN reported in July 2014 that the group was out to improve profitability in Europe, in particular.
Several senior executives have, however, departed its European operations this year. Among them have been co-chief executive of Cantor Fitzgerald Europe, Gordon Neilly, who left in May. Neilly has since re-emerged at Aberdeen Asset Management, and Angelo Sofocleous is now sole chief executive of Cantor’s European business.
Meanwhile, Richard Redmayne – the father of Oscar-winning The Theory of Everything actor Eddie Redmayne – left his role as Cantor’s European corporate finance chairman in May, and has since joined SP Angel as a director of corporate finance and broking.
But there have been hires too. In October 2015, Cantor Fitzgerald Europe took steps to bolster its business in Scotland. It opened an office in Edinburgh and appointed healthcare analysts from Shore Capital.
Cantor ranks 67th for investment banking revenues in the US for the year-to-date, according to Dealogic, with a 0.1% share of the market. In the UK it is in 75th place.