The hire is the highest profile so far of what are expected
to be many as CEO Jon Corzine builds the broker into a
broker-dealer, and then into an investment bank.
That was his own description of his strategy for the
brokerage, which he gave at the Barclays financial services
conference in New York the same day.
Corzine, who took over from Bernie Dan as CEO in March after
a period of poor financial results, said he expected MF
Global’s headcount to rise from 3,000 to 4,000 as
it changed its business model.
Abelow will oversee MF Global’s ongoing
strategy review and assume direct responsibility for risk,
operations, client services, human resources, information
technology, procurement and property.
A close confidant of Corzine’s, Abelow was his
chief of staff for several years when he was governor of New
Jersey. Before that, he was a partner and eventually head of
operations at Goldman Sachs, where Corzine was CEO.
He succeeds Karel Harbour, who will become MF
Global’s director of operations and continue to
serve as interim managing director of Asia Pacific until his
retirement, expected at the end of the year.
In another move, MF Global boosted its sales team with
Michael Steinberg, who joins the New York equities group as
head of Asian equity sales. He was previously at JP Morgan, as
head of Asia Pacific sales. In addition, Gregg Schonhorn has
joined MF Global’s fixed income group in New York
as senior vice-president of fixed income. He will co-head the
institutional sales force on the firm’s credit
Most recently, he was managing director of institutional
sales at Jefferies. Before that, he worked in institutional
sales at Mellon Bank and Gruntal.