• Doscher decided this week to exit bank, person familiar says
  • Oil plunge fueled losses on distressed energy bonds this year

Drew Doscher has stepped down as head of distressed-credit trading at Jefferies Group amid a rout in the sector.

Doscher decided this week to leave, according to a person with knowledge of his departure who asked not to be identified discussing personnel matters.

Jefferies lost about $90 million over nine months trading bonds of distressed energy borrowers, the company said in September. Richard Handler, chief executive officer of the New York-based firm and its parent, Leucadia National Corp., said at the time that the bank took the positions to facilitate deals for clients and has since reduced exposure to the sector.

Traders who buy beaten-down debt have struggled as oil prices plunged and investors shied away from riskier bets. Robert MacNaughton, head of distressed debt trading in the U.S. for Credit Suisse Group AG, also is stepping down from his role, according to a person familiar with his move. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sustained millions of dollars in losses from its distressed-debt trading, people with knowledge of the losses said this year.

Doscher joined Jefferies in 2013 from Seaport Group LLC. Before that, he ran distressed debt at UBS Group AG and Barclays Plc. He is also an owner of the Sloppy Tuna, a bar and restaurant in Montauk, New York, according to a report in East Hampton Patch, a news website. Doscher didn’t respond to a message seeking comment, and Richard Khaleel, a spokesman for Jefferies, declined to comment.

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