Jefferies, the U.S. mid-market investment bank, aims to double the size of its team covering private equity clients in the next 12 months.
Private equity firms generated $2.5 billion in revenues for investment banks in the first quarter. Jefferies was 58th in the league table of revenues earned by banks from private equity clients, with $4.8 million, according to research provider Dealogic.
The bank has seven staff members covering the private equity industry. Richard Handler, Jefferies chairman and chief executive, said: "We are adding to that group, which presents a huge opportunity for us."
Last year, the bank bought Helix Associates, a London-based private equity placement agency, to strengthen links with its clients. It also wants to increase business with venture capital firms through its technology group.
Handler said: "As we become more branded with initial public offerings, secondaries and large block trades, we expect to see more out of the venture capital community."
Jefferies will be making more investments directly in private equity. Handler said the bank will soon announce the close of the first private equity fund raised under the Jefferies name. "It will be a couple of years before the contributions from direct private equity investment show in our results," he said.
Trading revenues contributed to the bank's best quarter, with all divisions reaching records or near record levels.