Jefferies in Growth Mode; Credit Suisse Trouble on the Horizon?

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Often, the best job prospects are at the also-rans looking to position themselves as a top-tier player. Jefferies is determined to be in the big leagues, and recent moves are making it clear that the investment firm will most likely continue division beef ups and strategic acquisitions to accomplish its goal.

The firm recently announced it is buying Prudential Bache's sizeable and established global commodities business. Between a ton of many other expansions and the big time pilfering of its competitor's top execs, the folks at Jefferies have been very busy. Additional spots on the equity electronic trading and fixed income side are probably a good bet, given the market interest in both.

While things are pointing up at Jefferies, news developments are signaling trouble ahead for Credit Suisse. The Swiss bank announced first quarter net income fell a whopping 45 percent from the period a year earlier.

Credit Suisse is going to be playing some serious catch-up to recover, and it couldn't be at a worst time. The new Swiss draft ruling that pushes stricter capital requirements on big banks is going to make things tougher for the bank, as well as for UBS. 2010 was already a big year of layoffs for Credit Suisse. This new double whammy just may be the impetus for more cuts.

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