Loan Securities Trading Site Hires Banking Veterans

Article excerpt

Pedestal Inc., an online exchange for bond investors, has tapped three banking industry veterans to ramp up its loan trading desks.

They will work on the whole loan residential desk and the commercial and multifamily desk.

The Washington-based company last week said it has hired Robert G. Gaither of First Union Corp., Jack Radin of Mellon Financial Corp., and Christopher C. Haspel of National Cooperative Bank.

Also joining Pedestal is Robert F. Fox, who for the past 13 years has run Secondary Connection Inc., a Clearwater, Fla. company that offered advice on secondary market trading strategy. Mr. Fox is closing Secondary to join Pedestal.

The four will report to managing director David Hurt. Mr. Hurt joined Pedestal from Redwood Residential Funding of Larkspur, Calif., in November.

Pedestal spokesman John Lewis said the four new traders would be making a transition from buying and selling bonds to providing a service to the bond investors who are Pedestal's customers. The desks work on pricing and due diligence and inform buyers what products meet their demands.

Mr. Lewis said Pedestal's online system can create liquidity for sellers' securities by broadening their reach to investors via the Internet. The system in which people make trades and exchange information by phone calls is "an inefficient process," he said. "We streamline the process. …