Jefferies Hires Citigroup’s Thoms, Lai for Event-Driven Group

Jefferies Group LLC hired Richard Thoms and Ming Lai from Citigroup Inc. as managing directors for the event-driven desk.

Thoms will be managing director of trading, while Lai will be managing director of sales, they said in telephone interviews. They left Citigroup on May 13, and will start at Jefferies on July 8. Event-driven desks specialize in trading around company changes such as mergers, spinoffs and bankruptcies.

Jefferies, which was acquired this year by Leucadia National Corp., its largest shareholder, has boosted its number of employees by about 70 percent since the end of 2006 to about 3,800. The firm has lured bankers and traders from the world’s biggest investment banks, offering year-end bonuses in immediately available cash.

Thoms and Lai had previously worked at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and Barclays Plc.

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, who replaced the ousted Vikram Pandit in October, is firing thousands of workers and pulling back from some businesses as he seeks to cut costs. The lender cut investment bankers’ bonuses by 10 percent to 20 percent globally in January, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

Citigroup spokeswoman Danielle Romero-Apsilos confirmed Thoms and Lai left the New York-based financial services firm and said replacements would be named shortly for their positions. Jefferies spokesman Richard Khaleel had no immediate comment.

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