A local economic development officials says he has talked with at least one investor who’s interested in buying the software owned by a Cedar Falls company investigators say may be at the heart of a Ponzi scheme. The founder of PFG Best attempted suicide Monday and federal authorities have launched a fraud investigation.
Steve Dust, the C.E.O. of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Chamber of Commerce, is hoping a buyer will step forward and employ many of the firm’s workers, too. “At its core, (PFG-Best’s) business is based on sophisticated trading software and so that team has been built to be customer-service oriented and also in software design and engineering,” Dust says.
“Most of the skills that team holds are easily transferable to another employer.” The software is the platform customers of the now-closed brokerage used to make trades.
“We would expect that to be attractive to other businesses in the same field,” Dust says, “to be able to have that kind of intellectual property available with the people who have developed it.” Dust says as the company “unwinds” he believes some purchaser will step forward because there was “very strong market acceptance” for PFG Best’s trading software.
“We have made connection with a potential buyer on the west coast and the only thing I can say is that they have developing interest in the product,” Dust says. “And of course there’s going to be a very formal process for all the buyers to go through, in terms of the bankruptcy proceeding.”
Dust says he has had no contact this week with Russell Wasendorf, Senior — the founder of Peregrine Financial Group — or his son, who worked at the brokerage and is merely making business contacts in an effort to keep the “talent pool” from the brokerage in the area.