Hedge Fund Broker Momentum Calls It Quits

Jul 30 2012 | 1:53pm ET

Economic uncertainty and market volatility may be hurting hedge funds, but it has killed a brokerage that caters to them.

Momentum Trading Partners will close its doors at the end of the day. The firm has been hurt by low trading volumes among hedge funds and other clients.

Hedge funds "are less willing to take risks in this environment," co-founder Lionel Mellul told The Wall Street Journal. "The whole market is contracting."

Many of New York-based Momentum's clients are based in Europe, exacerbating its problems. Mellul and Marco Pagani founded the firm four years ago after working at Refco Securities and GFI Group.

Mellul said that Momentum will begin to unwind its broker-dealer business at the close of trading today. He added that about a dozen of the firm's employees could remain together and might join another brokerage or a European asset manager.

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