Madoff Asset Acquisition, 2009-2010
Prior to April 2009, I was the primary owner and CEO of a FINRA regulated Securities Company called Castor Pollux Securities, LLC. As an entrepreneur, Castor should have been my break out moment as it was instantly successful. I ultimately botched it by retiring before building it to its potential. Castor’s main business was raising funds from institutions for hedge fund investments. During the first quarter of 2009, having had familiarity with the Bernie Madoff US Stock market making business, I reached out lazard freres, who was representing the Madoff Trustee and the SIPC, to try to buy it. During the first quarter of 2009, I, along with a business partner, negotiated to buy the assets of the operation and hire some of the previous employees. I subsequently negotiated the purchase, identified and raised the funding required (in excess of $10M USD), preformed due diligence on the assets, hired nearly 40 ex-employees, managed the software and hardware teams and negotiated all the key elements to restarting the business, which included finding the a new clearing agent and first customer. We changed Castor from an LLC to a Corporation and we renamed it Surge Trading Inc. The investor, which ultimately took control once I had completed these essential elements, brought in their own management team of experienced executives. The journey ended with me suing Surge over a contact dispute (and they counter claiming). In the end, over a year and a half after I left, the business ultimately failed; a sad result for myself, and the 40 employees working in the business. In the proceeding tab you can find press clippings from the events. It was a difficult and challenging process funding the acquisition of the assets from the most infamous person in finance at a time just after Lehman had failed, but it was equally an exciting and interesting story that one day I hope to write about. Its a testament that if funding is your goal, nothing should stop you. And despite this set back, I still consider Surge my greatest achievement as an entrepreneur to date.