Jefferies Equity Chief Jason Griffith Said to Leave Position

Jason Griffith, Jefferies Group Inc.’s global head of equities, is leaving his position, according to two people briefed on the situation.

Jefferies has informed employees of the move, said one person, declining to be identified because the decision hasn’t been announced publicly. David Silber is relinquishing his role as Griffith’s deputy, one of the people said. Griffith and Silber didn’t respond to messages today seeking comment.

Jefferies hired Griffith in 2006 and promoted him to co-head equities with Ross Stevens a year later, eventually giving Griffith sole oversight of the division. Jefferies’s equity-trading revenue for the fiscal first quarter slid 23 percent to $136.2 million from a year earlier, accounting for 17 percent of the company’s net revenue. Average daily equity trading on major U.S. exchanges fell 9.9 percent.

Richard Khaleel, a spokesman for the New York-based firm, said he couldn’t comment.

Griffith was hired as co-head of equity products to help oversee Jefferies’s expansion in electronic-trading services and equity financial products, including derivatives, according to a statement at the time. He previously led U.S. structured-product sales at Societe Generale SA after the Paris-based lender acquired Bank of America Corp.’s structured-investments business.

Jefferies slid 1.3 percent to $18.81 at 2:43 p.m. in New York trading. The shares had climbed 39 percent this year through yesterday.

David Trone, an analyst at JMP Securities, said in a March 22 note that equities-trading revenue could jump 31 percent in the first quarter at the five biggest U.S. banks. Equity volumes at Jefferies were “muted” in the three months ended Feb. 29, with an increase toward the end of the period, Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, 50, said last month.

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