Some observers believe Jefferies Group is ready to slow down its hiring efforts.
The firm has been strengthening its staff, adding more than 250 people in 2005, some through acquisitions and others through recruiting. The investment bank had been hiring expertise it didn't already have in-house, says Investor's Business Daily. For example, Jefferies hired six executives away from Banc of America Securities Prime Brokerage to improve its servicing of small and medium-sized hedge funds. Its Bond Direct unit lured a team of fixed-income emerging markets specialists from Wachovia Securities.
Lauren Smith, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, told IBD the most significant hiring is behind Jefferies. "They will selectively hire where there are good opportunities, but I don't think they feel they have any gaping holes in their franchise to fill," she said.
In the fourth quarter of 2005, Jefferies posted a 24 percent increase in earnings on revenue of $431.7 million.