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January 1, 2007

Pali Capital Staffs New Boston Desk

By Michael Scotti

Pali Capital, a specialist in agency trades of mid- and small-caps in New York and London, is adding a third major city to its growing network.

Pali last month opened an office in Boston, staffing it with five new sales trading hires. The opening of the desk marks the end of nine months of work for Dennis Leddy, a 21-year industry veteran, who launched the office. Leddy previously headed Jefferies & Co.'s Boston office.

His next challenge is to grow the Boston office. Pali's offices in New York and

London each house about 25 sales traders.

Leddy realizes it's no easy task to grow a trading desk, as business is tougher to come by these days. "We're small, but if we can continue to have impact with our clients and our revenue continues to grow, we can be a force," Leddy said. There are slots for seven more sales traders in Boston. Pali is not ranked by AutEx because it is not a subscriber. But it is about to sign up for the service to advertise trades, Leddy said. "We've been operating under the radar screen in the past," he added. Pali Capital, which was started by former Refco executives in 1995, offers about 20 different products, including debt- and equity-based instruments in emerging, international and domestic markets. Pali might be described as a niche brokerage in full-service clothing. Still, about two-thirds of the firm's $140 million in revenue last year came from U.S. cash trading-equities, 44 percent, options analytic group, 22 percent. It also has a Minneapolis office with four sales traders.

Pali Capital's varied products and performance-based compensation should attract additional sales traders, Leddy believes. Sales traders can build on existing relationships with clients, but they also have other revenue opportunities when they introduce clients to the firm's other businesses. This pre-set formula to share revenue reduces confrontation between the various product groups, Leddy said.