Minority-Owned Investment Bank Kaufman Closes Its Doors
After having withstood the worst of the recession and assisting with the corporation bail-out, financial hardships have finally hit and crumbled Kaufman Bros. LP. The small, minority-owned investment bank has shut its doors leaving behind little information about its closing other than a brief notice on its website.
According to Bloomberg, Benny Lorenzo, the bank’s chief executive officer, told employees after trading ended on Jan. 30 that Kaufman was closing immediately. The New York-based organization is just one of several small firms that were hit hard as a result of slow trading on the market due to Europe’s debt crisis. In a statement Standard & Poor disclosed their belief that investment bankers and brokers “are likely to face a prolonged period of low profitability and possibly other financial pressures because of ongoing weakness” that plagues the global economy.
The firm specialized in technology, media, telecommunications, green technology and health care. With a staff of about 40 and a second office in San Francisco, Kaufman was a top resource for investment hedge funds institutions and government agencies seeking to meet diversity goals. Documents revealed that as of Dec. 21, 2010, Kaufman had about $3.26 million worth of assets and $1.21 million of partner capital. Founded in 1995 by brothers Craig and Robert Kaufman, the company once boasted it was the largest minority-owned and operated investment banking and advisory firm in the country. Since 1999 it claims to have helped clients raise more than $50 billion. During the financial crisis, Kaufman was able to lend a hand by taking part in Citigroup Inc. and American International Group Inc.’s public offerings from the US Treasury Department.
Lorenzo became CEO and chairman of Kaufman in June 2009 after earning a majority stake in the company. He was born in the Dominican Republic and holds degrees from Cornell University and Harvard Business School.