Earlier Tuesday morning, New York-based financial firm WJB Capital announced it would be shuttering its brokerage operations, Bloomberg reported.
Although WJB Capital was a small, private broker-dealer with only 100 employees across the U.S., its closure is another chapter in the tale of faltering jobs on Wall Street. In 2011, the financial industry cut approximately 200,000 jobs in the face of global economic turmoil, low revenues and impending regulation that could further restrict business offerings.
“Unless you have an established business that’s portable from one firm to the other, it can be difficult to move to another company,” a former employee of WJB’s brokerage business told Business Insider. “There’s such a saturation of qualified people out there.”
The reason for the termination of WJB’s brokerage services remains vague, as the firm’s lawyer told Bloomberg that it was due to financial constraints. But another Bloomberg article published later this afternoon revealed that WJB Capital and its CEO Craig Rothfeld had been sued Dec. 31 by investors claiming fraud over a $250,000 investment in the company.
The former employee, who requested anonymity, said he was told of the end of the brokerage this morning when Rothfeld called the whole company into a meeting room, with employees at other locations on a conference call.
“They sort of said what everyone kind of knew, but no one had confirmed at that point,” he said. “I kind of had an idea it was coming last week but I didn’t know for sure. And I wasn’t sure how it was going to go down.”
rumours had started circulating last week at WJB Capital that the firm was facing imminent problems that would affect its operations, the former employee told Business Insider.
After the announcement this morning, the room was quiet and very few people asked questions as they filed out of the room. An hour later, nearly half the office had left, the employee said.
“From what I could tell, the business itself wasn’t necessarily doing great, but it wasn’t in the sort of situation where there was a desperate need to fix it,” he added. The former broker declined to comment further, saying he did not want to speculate.
When Business Insider reached the former employee by phone, he was at home, putting together his resume and looking up job openings.
He was getting a head-start. “Tomorrow it’s over, today was it. My last pay day.”