PFG's happy face fooled all of us
The gleam started to fade in a hurry. One former employee, Phil Flynn, an account executive who left the company at the end of May, said he had grown concerned that PFG's founder and CEO Russell Wasendorf Sr. had "turned a blind eye" to a $194 million forex-trading Ponzi scheme in Minnesota, run by Trevor Cook. PFG subsequently drew a $700,000 fine from the National Futures Association for its role as broker in some of Cook's transactions.
Companies shut down all the time, nevertheless rarely does a closure happen with the blind-sided impact of PFG, which, based on widespread reports, appeared to have a squeaky-clean image in the futures-trading industry. It truly stunned the region and its business establishment.
Of major concern, clearly, is where employees will go. Local business leaders say they want to help PFG's local workers find positions here. According to the Des Moines Register, Wade Arnold, CEO at Cedar Falls-based T8 Webware, said he had received 35 to 40 resumes from ex-PFG employees by mid-afternoon Thursday. It seems certain, other CEOs in the Cedar Valley will report similar contacts.