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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Rival 'poached traders' after terror attack
Smoke rises from the ruins of the World Trade Centre
Smoke rises from the ruins of the World Trade Centre
Bond trader Cantor Fitzgerald is suing a rival for allegedly poaching traders after the 11 September attacks on America.

The 658 employees who were in Cantor Fitzgerald's offices in the World Trade Centre died when the towers were attacked last year.


Oh, I would love to put one up their bottom...and this is the time I have been waiting for just a few years

e-mail from Michael Spencer, ICAP chief executive
Cantor claims that financial firm ICAP's Garban - Intercapital unit tried to exploit its weakness after the attacks by poaching three of its key traders.

Lawyers for ICAP however argued in a London court on Thursday that the three employees that defected did so because they had been badly treated and were being forced to swap their fixed salary for a commission-based one.

Cantor is demanding unspecified damages from the three traders for breaking their contracts, as well as the return of bonuses and a loan to one of the traders.

It also wants an injunction on ICAP to prevent it approaching any of their employees in the next six months.

'Domineering and bullying'

It is common practice to recruit staff from rival organisations, but Cantor argues that its rival systematically planned to poach its staff following 11 September.

The case centres on three brokers, Edward Bird, Spencer Gill and Luigi Boucher, who have worked for ICAP's Garban-Intercapital unit since April.

In a court in London, ICAP's lawyer Andrew Hochhauser argued that the traders' former boss Daniel LaVecchia was "domineering and bullying".

ICAP says the three former employees are claiming 'constructive dismissal' - essentially that they were so badly treated they had to leave.

"It is our submission that bullying is a hallmark of Cantor Fitzgerald and undue pressure is precisely what occurred here," Andrew Hochhauser said.

"The attempts to try to link these events to 11 September and the collapse of the Twin Towers is completely and utterly unjustified," he added.

'Planning a heist'

Cantor's case rests on emails that ICAP's chief executive Michael Spencer, and ICAP senior executive David Casterton wrote to each other.

In an email dated 11 October 2001, Mr Spencer allegedly said: "I would love to plan a heist."

In a separate email, he wrote: " Oh, I would love to put one up their bottom...and this is the time I have been waiting for just a few years."

Cantor's lawyer Andrew Hillier claims that it became "open season at Cantors" following the departure of the three employees.

"All the vultures were going to come round to pick off these people, as there was a major destabilisation of the desk. It was more injurious to Cantors that these people were leaving."

The case began on Tuesday.

See also:

14 Sep 01 | Business
30 May 02 | Business
14 Sep 01 | Business
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