Jefferies Said to Hire Two Mortgage-Securities Traders From RBS

Jefferies Group LLC hired mortgage-bond traders Brian Song and Cory Rothman from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc as the investment bank that Leucadia National Corp. bought this year boosts its trading staff.

Rothman focuses on commercial-mortgage backed securities, while Song trades residential debt, according to two people familiar with the hires who asked not to be identified because the moves haven’t been announced. Richard Khaleel, a spokesman for Jefferies, said he couldn’t comment.

Jefferies, run by Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler, has increased its staff by 69 percent since the end of 2006 to about 3,800 people, focusing much of its hiring in fixed-income. The New York-based bank has hired from Wall Street competitors including UBS AG, Morgan Stanley and Barclays Plc.

Rothman joined Royal Bank of Scotland’s RBS Securities unit in November 2008 from Bear Stearns & Co., according to records maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Song came to RBS in June 2010 from Credit Suisse, Finra records show.

Rothman and Song, both of whom were based in Stamford, Connecticut, couldn’t be reached for comment. Ed Canaday, a spokesman for RBS, declined to comment.

At RBS, Song ran trading of pass-through government-backed mortgage securities, one of the people said.

Jefferies was purchased in March by Leucadia, its biggest shareholder, in a deal designed to help the firm weather market turmoil. The bank saw a “significant slowdown” in fixed-income trading during March and April resulting from uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve will slow $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, Handler said in a June 18 statement.

RBS, which U.K. taxpayers bailed out during the global financial crisis in 2008 and 2009 in a 45.5 billion-pound ($71 billion) rescue, is starting to cut 2,000 investment-banking jobs. Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester announced his departure last week without naming a successor, throwing off the timetable for privatizing Britain’s biggest government-owned lender.

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