Group Buying Goldman Options Books To Close Soon
Stuart Sternberg, former Goldman Sachs managing director and Tampa Bay Devil Rays investor is one of a group led by Larry Falcone, American Stock Exchange lead options trader for SLK-Hull Derivatives, set to spend USD3-4 million to buy the books back from Goldman Sachs.
“They’re [Falcone, et al] stalling because August is the slow season,” said an options veteran familiar with the group. “The price will still be the same later, but volume and return will be better in the fall. So why buy it now?” Despite a hefty USD6.5 billion spent by Goldman for specialists SLK back in 2000, the firm is unwinding its options specialist floor operations to position itself on electronic exchanges and platforms. Goldman pulled out of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange in June, selling its options market-making business to Timber Hill, a unit of Interactive Brokers, for an undetermined amount. It could not be determined how much the Amex books cost Goldman initially. Falcone applied for a broker dealer license and has been in talks to buy the books this summer.
Sternberg, 44 was a partner at SKL in charge of equity options trading when it was bought by Goldman and was later made a managing director. He took early retirement in 2002 and cashed out shares of Goldman stock valued at USD24.5 million. This year, Sternberg bought a 48% stake in the Devil Rays, which is his first investment foray into the world of major league baseball.