Jefferies Tells Staff to Come Back to Office on Consistent Basis

#Lifestyle Wealth

(Bloomberg)—Jefferies Financial Group Inc. asked staffers to come back to the office on a more consistent basis as it looks to work through its investment-banking backlog in the coming months.

The company has “no issue” when employees need to work from home from time to time, though it wants senior bankers to be coming in to motivate their junior counterparts, according to a memo to staff Thursday. Still, it wouldn’t go as far as checking badge swipes in and out of the office.

“We are not going to look at individual names on the turnstiles,” Chief Executive Officer Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman said in the memo. “As long as Covid continues to be manageable, we need everyone back in our offices on a consistent basis so we can truly maximize our fourth and final quarter and the future that is ahead.”

The memo follows similar moves from banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley in recent days as Wall Street seeks once again to get workers back at their desks in towers across Manhattan. Office attendance has remained stubbornly low in New York, with average occupancy hitting 35.3% last week, according to Kastle Systems.

Handler and Friedman said they’re continuing to invest in talent and see room for expanding in each of the company’s businesses. Investment-banking results at New York-based Jefferies and its rivals have been crimped this year as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Federal Reserve rate hikes and inflationary pressures stymie capital markets.

“We like all of our businesses and believe they are right-sized, diversified, well-managed and consistent with our goals of achieving a decent return on equity,” the two executives said in the memo. “We have more talent and capability in our house than ever before, and it will just require a little patience for the results to fully reflect everything we are capable of achieving.”


© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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