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Jefferies is making a big push to compete with the big investment banks in emerging markets trading in London.

Jefferies has big plans for its EM trading desk, and has been poaching from larger banks

Don't call Jefferies a small investment bank. At least when it comes to emerging markets trading, the U.S. investment bank has ambitions to compete with the big players - and it's been hiring.

Jefferies has been building its emerging markets sales and trading team over the past few months, and has plans to hire more people as it aims to move up the league tables, according to sources close to the situation. "We want to be thought of less as an agency or brokerage and more of an institutional firm in the same league as Citi or J.P. Morgan," says one source within the bank.

So far, this has meant some big hires from larger banks. Aaron Fernandes, who worked as a director in emerging markets sales at Barclays in New York, moved to London to head up Jefferies' emerging markets team earlier this month. Kevin Kelly, an executive director in emerging markets trading at Goldman Sachs in London, also joined Jefferies as the other co-head of emerging markets. Meanwhile, Mouloud Ameni, a former trader in Nomura's emerging markets credit team, has joined Jefferies as a trader focused on Central and Eastern Europe, and Turkey bonds.

Jefferies has also been hiring in equity research focused on emerging markets, although these are largely at the junior level. Anna Perekatova joined as an associate in equity research from Goldman Sachs earlier this month, Sebastian Patulea has been hired in as an associate in equity research from Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Ebba Bjorklid, who worked in research at Credit Suisse, also joined Jefferies in March.

Jefferies is understood to still be on the look out for sales and trading staff focused on emerging markets, particularly Russian and Africa, and more hires should be announced in the next few months.

Jefferies has slowly been rebuilding its London operation since the middle of last year, following an unusual number of senior exits. It now has 409 employees registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, up from 389 in June 2016. However, it's still down from beginning of last year when it had 415 employees in the UK.


Photo: Getty Images

AUTHORPaul Clarke

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