Gleacher ends investment banking business

Gleacher ends investment banking business, brings on Capstone to advise it on options

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Gleacher & Co. said Tuesday that it is ending its investment banking business and hired Christopher Kearns as CEO and chief restructuring officer as it evaluates its options.

Gleacher will cut about 20 jobs as part of the move, which is effective immediately and eliminates the company's primary business. Kearns, 56, has been executive director and manager of restructuring and transaction advisory firm Capstone since 2004, and Gleacher said Capstone will assist with its restructuring process and help evaluating options for its business.

The company said Tuesday that it is looking into several options to preserve and improve shareholder value. Those options include continuing with the wind-down of its operations and distributing the proceeds to shareholders, a merger or sale of the company, or investing its remaining assets in new opportunities.

In 2011 Gleacher said it was exiting the equities business and would focus on its fixed-income side and advisory services for corporate clients. The company has considered selling itself, and earlier this year it exited its fixed-income business and sold most of its ClearPoint home mortgage business. It said up to 160 jobs might be cut as it eliminated the fixed-income business.

In May Gleacher fired CEO Thomas Hughes and Chief Operating Officer John Griff.

Shares of Gleacher declined 17 cents to $13.38 in morning trading. The stock has lost two-thirds of its value over the last two years.

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