WJB Capital Group Inc., an agency broker which distributed third party research, shut its brokerage operations yesterday. According to research firms distributed by WJB, they were notified about the closure yesterday, and scrambled to reassure mutual clients.
WJB had over $8 million of subordinated debt, including $1.35 million due last month, according to a 2010 annual report with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm reported net income of about $221,000 in 2010 on revenue of $45.9 million, according to the annual report.
WJB Capital was “unable to raise capital in a manner that would have allowed the firm to continue its operations given the current climate and the constraints that would have been placed on everyone,” Chief Executive Officer Craig A. Rothfeld said in an interview with Bloomberg. The New York-based firm shut voluntarily, he said.
WJB offered a dedicated corporate access team, research on macro investment strategy, technical analysis and derivative strategy, in addition to distribution of third party research from Cardinal Research LLC, JRPG Investment Research, John Burns Real Estate Consulting, Market Advisors and in the past Strategas and Blue Phoenix Inc. The company announced new hires as recently as last month with four new equity analysts, including Bryan Maher and John Newman from Citadel Securities LLC, according to a Dec. 8 statement.
Declining commissions has created an adverse environment for agency brokers. Average daily equity-trading on major U.S. exchanges was about 7.8 billion shares in 2011, a 20 percent drop from 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
WJB Capital was founded in 1993 by two agency brokers on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and expanded from 10 employees to more than 100 in the past 10 years.
Click here for the Bloomberg article on WJB Capital’s closure.