Jefferies Said to Hire High-Yield Trader Zucker From Barclays

Jefferies Group LLC is hiring high-yield bond trader Brian Zucker from Barclays Plc as the investment bank acquired by Leucadia National Corp. seeks to bolster its credit unit.

Zucker left the New York office of Britain’s second-biggest bank earlier this month, said three people familiar with the move who asked not to be identified because it hasn’t been announced. Richard Khaleel, a Jefferies spokesman, Brandon Ashcraft of Barclays and Zucker, reached on his mobile phone, declined to comment.

Jefferies is building its share of the U.S. speculative-grade underwriting market as the biggest banks seek to meet new risk-curbing regulations by reducing staff and paring holdings of corporate debt. With junk-bond issuance at a record pace this year, the New York-based firm has risen to 11th place from 13th in 2012, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. High Yield Index has lost 1.95 percent since the end of April as concern mounts that the Federal Reserve will curb stimulus that has bolstered demand for riskier assets. The debt, ranked below Baa3 by Moody’s Investors Service and lower than BBB- at Standard & Poor’s, had returned 129 percent from the end of 2008 through April 30.

Before joining Barclays in 2009, Zucker worked at Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Jefferies hired former Deutsche Bank credit salesman Michael Curry in April as a managing director, people said at the time.

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