Jon Corzine, who joined MF Global Holdings 20 months ago to transform the futures broker into an investment bank, quit Friday amid regulatory probes and after the firm filed the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Mr. Corzine, the former co-CEO of Goldman Sachs Group, quit as chairman and CEO, MF Global said Friday in an e-mailed statement. Mr. Corzine, who was paid more than $4 million since joining the firm, won’t seek severance pay, the company said.
“I have voluntarily offered my resignation to the Board of Directors of MF Global,” Mr. Corzine said in a separate statement. “This was a difficult decision, but one that I believe is best for the firm and its stakeholders.”
His resignation came four days after the bankruptcy filing as the company’s bets on European sovereign debt rattled investors. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating $633 million that is missing from customer accounts. The regulator sent a subpoena seeking information about the money to MF Global’s auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, a person briefed on the matter said Thursday, asking not to be named because the matter isn’t public.
“The board of directors at MF Global is going to be getting some very serious questions in the next few weeks,” said Bruce Weber, dean of the Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics at the University of Delaware. Mr. Weber cited lack of segregation of customer money from the firm’s funds among the concerns.
The trustee liquidating MF Global Inc. was given authority to investigate the firm’s officers, directors, affiliates, lenders and investors, U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Martin Glenn ruled Friday.
While Mr. Corzine ultimately made the decision to resign, board members had indicated to him in discussions during the past two days that he should consider stepping down, according to a person with direct knowledge of the talks who declined to be identified, citing lack of authorization to speak publicly. The board’s support for Mr. Corzine eroded once talks to sell the company collapsed, the person said.
“I feel great sadness for what has transpired at MF Global and the impact it has had on the firm’s clients, employees and many others,” Mr. Corzine said in his statement. He said he would continue to assist the company in responding to regulatory inquiries and in the “disposition of the firm’s assets.”
Mr. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey who helped run Goldman Sachs from 1994 to 1999, sought to transform MF Global into a midsize investment bank after arriving there in March 2010. He increased the firm’s risk