NEW YORK (Reuters) - The brokerage arm of collapsed futures firm MF Global Holdings Ltd has terminated its 1,066-member workforce, according to the trustee in charge of liquidating its assets.
The workers were notified their employment has ended immediately, though they will be paid through November 15, trustee James Giddens said in a statement on Friday.
Between 150 and 200 of the employees will be rehired to help with winding down the business and processing bankruptcy claims, according to the statement.
"The termination of employees and closure of operations is a necessary part of the court-ordered liquidation ... and is consistent with the trustee's obligations," Giddens said.
The U.S. futures regulator has begun a formal probe into the collapse of the brokerage once run by Jon Corzine, a Wall Street legend and former New Jersey governor. The firm's bad bets on European debt triggered a crisis of confidence in one of the most active commodity brokers in the world.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission investigation follows the discovery that some $600 million was missing from segregated accounts, customer funds that are meant to be held separate from the broker's own money.
Giddens also said on Friday that his team is working to clear out the brokerage's New York offices as soon as possible and rent smaller, less expensive space as the liquidation moves forward.
MF Global's Chicago offices will continue to be leased for an undetermined amount of time, he said.
The brokerage liquidation is In re MF Global Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-2790.
MF's bankruptcy case is In re MF Global Holdings Ltd, in the same court, No. 1-15059.
(Reporting by Nick Brown; Editing by Derek Caney and John Wallace)
Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.