Jefferies has been making some big equities hires in London

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Jefferies has been making some big equities hires in London

While banks like HSBC contemplate seriously shrinking their equities businesses, one big player in Europe appears to be holding steady: Jefferies has been doing all kinds of quiet hiring in London.

After appointing Jonathan Slone, previously of CLSA, as its new chairman for Asia in July, Jefferies has recruited various of Slone's former CLSA colleagues to cover Asia based out of London.

The new recruits include: veteran equity broker Justin Bacon, who spent three years at CLSA after a career at Barclays, Citi and Merrill Lynch; Janet Harbison, a former MD and head of equity sales at CLSA, who joined in London as head of Asia into Europe; Cristina Titu, an Asian equity saleswoman; and Nicolas Leouzon, a director of Asian equity sales at CLSA.

The recruits were likely made earlier in the summer following the arrival of Slone but have only just been added to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) register for Jefferies in London. They nonetheless come as Jefferies emerges as one of this year's big recruiters in the City. 

Jefferies now has 491 registered personnel in London, a net increase of 28 people or 6% on the start of the year. However, Jefferies has hired far, far more than this. In 2019 alone, it's recruited 95 people in London according to the FCA. Another 67 have left the bank in the UK since January, either voluntarily or not. 

Jefferies isn't commenting on the exits or the hires. Around 20 people left in July and have yet to resurface in new roles. They included various analysts and associates, plus Peter Reilly, the former head of capital goods research.

Jefferies is well known for paying generous cash bonuses to staff in London. However, it's also known for clawing back or all or part of previously awarded cash bonuses from staff who leave for rivals. As a result it's comparatively uncommon for people to leave Jefferies and work elsewhere. 

Jefferies' interest in equity salespeople comes banks like UBS have been cutting high touch equities professionals in London.

Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

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