Quite a silly reason to let someone go, this:
Jefferies Group LLC was ordered by a Hong Kong judge to pay its former Asia equity trading head Grant Williams about $1.86 million for firing him over a newsletter which referred to a Hitler parody video. … Read more
Jefferies Group has hired at least seven UBS bankers in Hong Kong in the past two months after luring Ren Wang from the Swiss lender to become its Asia president, says Bloomberg, citing three people with knowledge of the matter. Ronald Tam and Dai Qiang, both of whom were executive directors at UBS, were hired as managing directors for the New York-based firm’s investment banking team, the news agency reported. They are due to begin work in the first half of December.
Another stridently penned letter from Jefferies that seeks to reassure the markets about its exposure to Europe and worries about access to short-term funding:
The note rehashes a few points the broker had already made in prior statements, but it does give new detail on its repo and reverse repo activity, something we’d wondered about previously. Read more
None of our commenters took us up on last week’s wager for when Jefferies would release its next statement, and a good thing too — Monday was our guess, and here we go:
Jefferies announced today that its trading positions in the sovereign securities of the nations of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain have been reduced by an aggregate of approximately $1.1 billion long and $1.1 billion short. This represents a 49.5% reduction in Jefferies’ gross holdings of these securities since the close of business Friday and resulted in no meaningful profit or loss on today’s trading activity or our remaining positions, which continue to be substantially matched by country and maturity. Jefferies’ current net exposure to these sovereign securities is currently $59 million, or 1.7% of shareholder equity, with negligible market or credit risk.
Jefferies really wants you to know that its net position is “insignificant”.
In a statement released on Friday the broker took the rare step of disclosing not only the size of its dealings with peripheral Europe, but the shape, too. Read more
As FT Alphaville has noted, Egan-Jones downgraded Jefferies, citing the disclosure in Jefferies’ 10Q that the firm’s “sovereign obligations” amounted to €2.68bn, or 77 per cent of its €3.49bn shareholder equity.
Jefferies, meanwhile, responded that the positions were net short thus not a problem. What’s more that they were not “repo to maturity” or off-balance sheet. Read more
Jefferies Group, the independent investment bank, had trading in its shares halted twice after a credit rating downgrade by Egan-Jones, the rating agency, which drew parallels with MF Global, the broker-dealer that collapsed this week, the FT reports. Market “circuitbreakers” kicked in to halt trading after the shares fell more than 20 per cent on Thursday. The decline came after Egan-Jones downgraded the company from BBB to BBB-. Its analysts warned they were “concerned” about $2.7bn of sovereign debt exposure and noted that the “problems of MF have increased scrutiny of other medium-sized broker-dealers”.
A pittance, a pittance I tell you. No, wait, even less than a pittance!
Portugal $5 million Read more
Then again, it is 1.11.11, or 11.1.11 for our American friends.
Financials taking a battering on Tuesday morning in New York (S&P 500 down 2.46 per cent at pixel time):
For those who get a vicarious thrill from watching the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and imagining how it might end (like you – Ed.) will seriously enjoy Wednesday’s scribblings from David Zervos, the head of Global Fixed Income strategy at Jefferies and a former Fed official.
He believes a Lehman like even is about to unleashed on Europe that will trigger country by country socialization of their commercial banks and a splintering of the eurozone. Read more
Jefferies, a US investment bank, is making an aggressive push into the global futures market, with an agreement to buy Prudential Financial’s commodities and financial derivatives business for $430m in cash, reports the FT. The deal to buy Prudential Bache’s Global Commodities Group is the largest yet undertaken by New York-based Jefferies as it expands beyond its traditional equities roots after the financial crisis. The acquisition includes Bache’s UK and Hong Kong subsidiaries, which have more than 400 employees. It will be renamed Jefferies Bache. The business reported 2010 revenues of about $220m. DealBook notes the acquisition reflects the firm’s aim to transform into a full-fledged investment bank.
Royal Bank of Scotland has accelerated its asset sell-off programme, drawing up shortlists for two key businesses that are expected to fetch about £4bn for the government-backed bank, reports the FT. Morgan Stanley and Jefferies are among final bidders for RBS Sempra Commodities’ North America business, which could reach a total value of $2bn, and has also narrowed down the bidders for its £2.5bn payment processing arm to two US buy-out consortiums.
It could very well be, according to David Owen, the chief European Financial Economist at Jefferies.
He says the nuclear option – printing money to buy sovereign debt – would help the eurozone in the looming age of austerity. Read more
UBS and Blackstone Group takeover advisers fed information to an insider-trading ring including a former Jefferies Group money manager in a scheme that yielded more than $8m in illegal gains, US federal authorities said, reports Bloomberg. Nicos Stephanou, associate director of M&A at UBS’s London office, passed information about bids for Albertson’s, ElkCorp and National Health Investors, US prosecutors and the SEC said in criminal and civil complaints, while Ramesh Chakrapani, a managing director of Blackstone’s takeover advisory unit, allegedly leaked tips on two of the deals.
Jefferies has acquired LongAcre, a media-focused mergers and acquisitions boutique investment bank, marking the US-based mid-market investment bank’s latest push into Europe, reports the FT.
Jefferies did not disclose the value of the transaction, but it is understood to be paying about £40m, or 2.5 times LongAcre’s 2006 revenue, which is at the upper end of the range that UK-based investment banks have fetched recently. Jefferies has been in the UK since 1985 and after hiring 63 people in the past 12 months has a staff of 270 in London, with a small number of staff in offices in continental Europe. Read more
General Atlantic, the US private equity group, is to raise about £85.5m through a flotation of Xchanging, the UK-based outsourcing and processing business that ranks as one of its largest European investments.
The price range for the IPO has been set at 210p to 240p, implying a mid-point market value of £500m for the business, which provides back-office services to large companies such as BAE Systems and Deutsche Bank. Read more
Ford Motor is poised to agree the sale of Aston Martin, the luxury sports car brand, to a consortium of investors including David Richards, a motor industry veteran, for close to £450m. Mr Richards is a founder of Prodrive, the group that runs Aston Martin’s racing team and is setting up a Formula One team. His consortium is understood to have held talks with investors from the US and Middle East, including Egypt’s Naeem Capital, although its final make-up is not yet clear. The sale of Aston Martin comes nearly six months after the US car group publicly signalled plans to dispose of the business. US investment bank Jefferies advised the winning consortium, while UBS auctioned Aston Martin on behalf of its owner.
US investment bank Jefferies is planning to expand its asset management business by launching several hedge funds a year, reports Financial News.
Richard Handler, chairman and chief executive, said the mid-market bank is in the early stages of building an asset management business and that it launched four hedge funds last year. Read more