Jefferies' Latest Hires Target Equity Underwriting and Financial Sponsors

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Jefferies Group recently added two senior bankers to lead segments of its equity capital markets business, as the midsize investment bank pushes for more lead underwriting mandates. The firm also added a financial sponsors banker to serve funds whose purchases of companies could open the door to future capital markets deals.

Ashley Delp joined Jefferies as managing director and head of U.S. equity syndicate and David Bohn joined as managing director and head of private placements, the bank announced this week. Delp spent the past 13 years at Merrill Lynch, including six years in equity syndicate. Bohn was hired from Cowen & Co., where he was a managing director and co-head of private placements, and worked at Citigroup before that.

Both work under Mark Connelly, global head of equity capital markets, who joined Jefferies last August from UBS. In December, Craig McCracken came over from Bank of America to head U.S. convertible bonds and equity-linked sales.

The bank also said this week it hired Thomas E. Flanagan as a managing director in the global financial sponsors group. He worked 12 years at Lehman Brothers, rising managing director and head of the middle market financial sponsor group.

Headcount Grew 18 Percent In Less Than a Year

"Our business is growing very, very rapidly right now," Connelly told Bloomberg News. "It represents a further expansion of an effort that we've been undertaking for the last four or five months to hire quality origination and equity capital markets product people."

Over the nine months ended March 31 Jefferies' overall headcount swelled by 18 percent, or 432 individuals, including 101 in this year's first quarter. In its first-quarter conference call last month, the bank's top executive indicated stronger capital markets would continue to drive transaction growth.

The bank ranks 12th in U.S. equity underwriting this year according to Bloomberg. But it's second in health care industry deals, having raised a total of $316 million for six companies. On another measure, Jefferies is climbing the capital markets food chain: It was the lead underwriter in about 80 percent of deals it worked on this year, up from around 35 percent two years ago, according to Connelly.