Cargill Investor Services

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Cargill Investor Services
Founded 1972, sold September 2005
Headquarters Chicago, IL

Former powerhouse global commodities and futures brokerage Cargill Investor Services, Inc. (CIS) was wholly-owned by Minneapolis-based agribusiness giant Cargill but operated out of Chicago as a separate entity. CIS, founded in 1972,[1] was sold in September 2005 for just over $200 million to doomed derivatives trader and broker Refco Group Ltd.

Sale to Refco[edit]

The sale of CIS to Refco for $208 million cash and up to $192 million in future-performance bonuses was first announced in June 2005[2] and closed less than three months later. As part of the deal, CIS global president James A. Davison would leave Cargill with CIS and become CEO and President of Refco Investment Services.[3] Within a month of closing the CIS deal, Refco collapsed amid internal revelations of hidden debts.

Points of Interest[edit]

  • In November 2005 the entire Refco operation was sold for $282 million to Man Financial, now called MF Global. Two months earlier Refco, then thought to be worth $4 billion, had agreed to pay $208 million in cash for CIS.
  • Davison, then managing director of CIS in Europe, became worldwide president of CIS in 2002 after previous incumbent Bernard Dan resigned to become executive vice president of the Chicago Board of Trade.[4]
  • CIS had access to clients in 59 countries through parent company Cargill, whereas Refco operated in just 14.
  • The combined Refco/CIS operations would have made it the sixth-largest brokerage house in the United States.