Executive Managing Director, General Counsel
Stephen Merkel is Executive Managing Director, General Counsel and Secretary of Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. He joined the firm in 1993 and oversees all legal and compliance globally for the firm. He is also Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary of BGC Partners, Inc. Previously, he was the Director, Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Secretary of eSpeed.
Prior to joining Cantor Fitzgerald, Mr. Merkel was Vice-President and Assistant General Counsel at Goldman Sachs & Co., dedicated to the J. Aron Division. He began his career at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison.
Mr. Merkel graduated with a B.A. Magna Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania and received his law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law.
Senior Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
Mark Kaplan is a Senior Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
Mr. Kaplan spent the last 10 years as Chief Operating Officer for Société Générale in the Americas, where he was responsible for managing its regional operations, including the IT, Operations, Finance, Product Control, Operational Risk, IT Security, BCP, Sourcing and Real Estate departments. In that role, Mr. Kaplan helped develop and build many of that firm’s business initiatives, complete several significant mergers and acquisitions and lead several regional strategic initiatives.
Prior to that position, Mr. Kaplan was the General Counsel for Société Générale for the Americas, leading its Legal and Compliance departments. Before joining Société Générale, he was the General Counsel for CIBC World Markets Corp.’s U.S. operations, and previously served as the Director of Litigation at Oppenheimer & Co., Inc.
Mr. Kaplan holds a B.A. from Bucknell University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and a J.D. from Columbia University Law School.
Executive Managing Director
As an executive member, Steven Bisgay is responsible for financial operations, including accounting, finance, regulatory reporting, treasury and financial planning and analysis, as well as credit and market risk management. Mr. Bisgay is a seasoned veteran with over 25 years of experience in the securities and financial services industry.
Prior to joining Cantor, Mr. Bisgay was the Chief Financial Officer of KCG Holdings. Before his appointment as Chief Financial Officer, he served as Knight Capital Group, Inc.’s Executive Vice-President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to these appointments, Mr. Bisgay served as Senior Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He has also served on the Board of Managers of Direct Edge Holdings LLC, until its merger with BATS Global Markets, Inc.
Mr. Bisgay is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a BS in Accounting from Binghamton University and an MBA from Columbia University. He is also registered with FINRA and holds a Series 27 Financial Operations Principal License.
Senior Managing Director, Head of Fixed Income, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.
Mr. James Buccola is currently the Head of Fixed Income at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., which he joined in December 2017. In this capacity, Mr. Buccola leads all Fixed Income Sales & Trading globally, as well as oversees CCRE, the Firm’s Commercial Mortgage Securities business.
Prior to joining Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Mr. Buccola was the Head of Securitized Products Trading at Credit Suisse Group AG. He previously served as that firm’s Head of Non-Governmental Guaranteed Trading, and, before that, as its Head of Residential Mortgage Trading.
Mr. Buccola holds a B.S. in Finance from Lehigh University’s College of Business & Economics.
Senior Managing Director, Head of Human Resources & Partnership
Lori Pennay is a Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Human Resources and Partnership for Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners, Inc. She oversees all human resources, compensation, and partnership administration functions for the firm globally. Previously, Ms. Pennay served as a Vice-President and Assistant General Counsel, where she provided legal advice and representation to Cantor and BGC with respect to employment and partnership matters.
Prior to joining Cantor Fitzgerald, Ms. Pennay served as employment counsel for Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, where she was primarily responsible for providing legal advice and representation for the private banking and certain back office divisions. She began her career as an employment lawyer with the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP.
Ms. Pennay holds a B.A. from Pennsylvania State University with High Distinction honors and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Senior Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking
Sage Kelly is a Senior Managing Director and Head of Investment Banking at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Kelly has over 20 years of experience in investment banking, most recently serving as the Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at Jefferies from 2009 to 2015. Prior to Jefferies, Mr. Kelly served as a Managing Director at UBS where he worked from 1999-2009, and at Salomon Smith Barney in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group from 1994-1999. Mr. Kelly also spent three years working in the biotechnology industry for the Genetics Institute, where his work and findings were published in Biotech Monthly.
Mr. Kelly graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, finance, and economics.
Senior Managing Director, Head of Equities
Pascal Bandelier joined the Cantor Fitzgerald and Co. as Head of Equities, based in New York.
Pascal Bandelier was the Head of Equity Execution Trading at Barclays, where he was responsible for the trading, sales trading, desk analyst and low-touch electronic businesses during his tenure at Barclays since 2013. Prior to Barclays, Mr. Bandelier was Head of TMT Cash Equity Trading, at Morgan Stanley, and Head of Cash Equity Trading & Risk at Nomura, where he grew the business from 67th to 10th in market share in less than one year. From 2001 to 2010, Mr. Bandelier worked at Barclays/Lehman Brothers, starting his career as a Cash Equity Trader and joining Barclays in the merger as the Managing Director, Head of TMT Cash Equity Trading & Co-Head of Equity Risk.
Mr. Bandelier graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor’s degree in economics.
Senior Managing Director, Head of Prime Services
Mr. Jon Yalmokas is Global Head of Prime Services at Cantor Fitzgerald. Mr. Yalmokas has more than 22 years of experience in equities, financing, operations, risk & technology and client management. He has spent his entire career helping hedge fund clients build and grow their businesses.
Most recently, Mr. Yalmokas was the Americas Head of Prime Services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML), responsible for all aspects of the company’s prime brokerage platform; distribution, capital introductions/consulting, financing, risk, client services and technology. Jon helped to grow BAML to a top tier market share position in Global Prime Services.
Prior to BAML, he was at UBS, where he held several increasingly senior positions in prime brokerage, swaps and derivatives sales and trading, most recently he was head of US Delta One Products and Prime Brokerage Distribution and advisory.
Prior to UBS, Mr. Yalmokas spent five years at Goldman Sachs building its U.S. Equity financing and synthetic products within Prime Brokerage.
Before that, he worked for six years at Merrill Lynch in its London office in equity derivatives and financing roles.
Mr. Yalmokas holds a B.A. from Boston College.
He is a 2017 board member of the Managed Funds Association.
Senior Managing Director, Chief Communications & Marketing Officer
Karen Laureano-Rikardsen is the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for Cantor Fitzgerald, L.P. She oversees the integrated communications and marketing function across the entire organization. She is responsible for raising the profile and visibility of Cantor and its affiliates to help meet core business objectives and to enhance and build brand identity/equity with all key stakeholders.
Prior to joining Cantor, Ms. Laureano-Rikardsen held various senior communications and marketing roles at financial services firms, including CRT Capital Group, Credit Suisse and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. At CRT Capital, she spearheaded corporate access to equity and fixed income clients, managed all branding and marketing of multi-sector conferences, as well as media and corporate communications, including distressed and special situations. At Credit Suisse, she was Head of Communications for Global Equities, Latin America, and served as the senior lead on crisis communications management. Earlier in her career, she served as Head of Corporate and External Affairs at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, where she developed and implemented its North America communications strategy. Ms. Laureano-Rikardsen earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of Maryland UC in Schwäbisch Gmünd Germany.
Chief Administrative Officer & Interim Chief Financial Officer
Paul M. Pion has served as Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Managing Director of Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (“Cantor”) since August 2010. In this position, Mr. Pion oversees a range of functions, most notably client management, cost control, procurement, and vendor management. Other responsibilities include business continuity planning, facilities and insurance. In addition, he is the Treasurer of the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund.
Mr. Pion is also the Chief Financial Officer of Cantor Fitzgerald’s real estate business and CF Acquisition Company (SPAC).
Additionally, since 2011, Mr. Pion has served as Chief Executive Officer of Tower Bridge International Services LP, responsible for the back-office functions for all Cantor UK-based businesses.
Mr. Pion previously served in numerous positions for Cantor including Global Director of Internal Audit from 2002 to 2010. Mr. Pion has been a director of Tower Bridge GP Limited since November 2010, BGC European GP Limited since January 2012 and was a director of BGC Brokers GP Limited from April 2012 until December 2019. Prior to joining Cantor, Mr. Pion served for approximately 14 years with the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche, most recently as an Audit and Assurance partner focusing on financial services clients. Mr. Pion holds Series 7 and 27 licenses and is a Certified Public Accountant in the State of New York. He received a B.S. in Accounting from the State University of New York at Albany.