Jon Corzine's got an itchy finger and $1 billion in unmarked singles to spend.
Corzine, aged 64, has just signed a new chief executive contract taking him to 2014 and has decreased his 2010 guaranteed bonus from $2m to $750,000. Sources close to the company said he was looking to “go big” in the commodities asset management sector.
Last month, MF Global outlined its plan to transform the firm from a “niche capital markets player” into an investment bank with a “broad suite of capital markets and asset management offerings”. According to a presentation delivered at a Credit Suisse conference in February, Randy MacDonald, chief financial officer, said the asset management business aims to deliver 10% to 20% of net revenue by 2016. Last year, MF Global net revenues were $776.5m.
The broker-dealer set up a proprietary trading desk called Principal Strategies Group in the fourth quarter of last year, led by former George Soros trader Munir Javeri. In last month’s conference call to answer questions on the results, Corzine said MF Global’s asset management division would eventually develop “a family of alternative funds”, but when asked for details, he said: “I couldn’t respond even if I wanted to.”