PFGBest on Liquidation Only, Receivership Likely

EDIT: New information from the NFA, see our latest post.

At this point, many of you may have heard that FCM PFGBest has been put on liquidation only by the NFA. The following email was sent to brokers and clients of the FCM:


We don’t like reporting information that has not been confirmed, but the stories have already begun to circulate, so we will tell you what we do know. Russ Wassendorf, Sr., CEO at PFGBest, attempted to commit suicide this morning, leaving behind a note indicating that accounting irregularities would be found. In turn, the NFA placed the firm on liquidation only. The extent and nature of said irregularities are yet to be determined, but our sources have indicated that it was not related to customer segregation issues and may be something to do with Wassendorf’s personal trading account. The story is still evolving, and we will likely not know the full scope of the problem today. However, some in the industry have indicated that the situation may be handled by receivership. This is good news, as it is a much smoother, faster process than resolving accounts in the midst of a bankruptcy.

We are closely monitoring and investigating the situation, and will update you as more information becomes available. However, we know the MF Global comparisons have already begun, so until those final details come to light, it’s important to realize the large differences between the two situations:

  1. The rumors are often worse than the real thing. At this point, it is all rumors outside of the PFG email above.
  1. There has been no talk of client money at risk or PFG going bankrupt. With MF Global, the firm’s financial health was a focus in the media for weeks prior to the bankruptcy. Client funds were a focus from the moment trading was halted. This hasn’t been the case here.
  1. The SIPC is not involved here, which is what delayed things for months upon months with MF Global. We would expect that, should things unravel, PFG’s entire business would be moved within a few days to a new clearing firm. That is infinitely smoother than what happened with MF Global.
  1. PFG was not large enough to be investing in European bonds or the like as MF Global was doing. They were a firm focused on futures and forex clearing only.
  1. No notice was received from Jeffries, the clearing broker for PFG, that they were failing to meet customer fund segregation obligations. Further, we confirmed weeks ago that they do NOT use the alternative method of net-capitalization calculation.

Stay tuned for further updates.



  1. Peter Mueller says:

    PFG Best has been a highly dubious company for quite a while. I know about a case in which PFG Best has been confiscating a six digit USD figure – monies from an introducing broker for unwarranted legal claims by investors of said introducing broker. There is no surprise that Mr. Wasendorf Sr. is involved in dubious transactions. For the record of CFTC investigators: Mr. Wasendorf Sr and Mr. Wasendorf Jr. have been repeatedly in breach of a very simple CFTFC rule – failing to supervise their employees and staff. Nobody from PFG Best´s management was ever controlling the inner organization. I could spend weeks here and write about the mess this company is/was.

Speak Your Mind


Interested in distributing or reprinting this content? Check out our reprint policy here.


Forex trading, commodity trading, managed futures, and other alternative investments are complex and carry a risk of substantial losses. As such, they are not suitable for all investors.

The entries on this blog are intended to further subscribers understanding, education, and – at times- enjoyment of the world of alternative investments through managed futures, trading systems, and managed forex, and is not intended as investment advice, or an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. Unless distinctly noted otherwise, the data and graphs included herein are intended to be mere examples and exhibits of the topic discussed, are for educational and illustrative purposes only, and do not represent trading in actual accounts. Opinions expressed are that of the author.

*The mention of specific asset class performance (i.e. +3.2%, -4.6%) is based on the noted source index (i.e. Newedge CTA Index, S&P 500 Index, etc.), and investors should take care to understand that any index performance is for the constituents of that index only, and does not represent the entire universe of possible investments within that asset class. And further, that there can be limitations and biases to indices such as survivorship and self reporting biases, and instant history.

The mention of general asset class performance (i.e. managed futures did well, stocks were down, bonds were up) is based on Attain’s direct experience in those asset classes, estimates of performance of dozens of CTAs followed by Attain, and averaging of various indices designed to track said asset classes.

It should be noted that past market performance is not indicative of future market movement.No market data or other information is warranted by Attain Capital Management as to completeness or accuracy, express or implied, and is subject to change without notice.

Managed Futures Disclaimer:

Past Performance is Not Necessarily Indicative of Future Results. The regulations of the CFTC require that prospective clients of a managed futures program (CTA) receive a disclosure document when they are solicited to enter into an agreement whereby the CTA will direct or guide the client’s commodity interest trading and that certain risk factors be highlighted. The disclosure document contains a complete description of the principal risk factors and each fee to be charged to your account by the CTA.