Jefferies Said to Shake Up U.S. Financial Sponsor Bank Group

  • BofA’s Chris Ooten said to join bank, Ted Tutun to leave
  • Changes come after departure of global head Sokoloff in March

Jefferies Group is making more changes to the investment-banking division that manages relationships with private equity firms, according to people familiar with the matter, following the departure of the group’s global head, Adam Sokoloff, in March.

Christopher Ooten, a managing director at Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch unit, will join Jefferies’s financial sponsor group to replace Theodore Tutun, who is leaving, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Jefferies has also held early discussions with private equity specialists at banks including Credit Suisse Group AG, the people said, though no hires have yet been made.

The New York-based investment bank has been shaking up the team across regions. James Seagrave, co-head of the European sponsors team, was replaced earlier this month by Fotis Hasiotis, who had previously run the European sponsors team at Lazard Ltd. U.S. sponsors co-head Jeffery Greenip was promoted in March to succeed Sokoloff as global chief of the group.

Seagrave will join BNP Paribas SA on Oct. 1 as global head of financial sponsors, a newly created role, Sheryl Lee, a spokeswoman for the Paris-based bank, said. Seagrave will report to Jose Placido, global head of the financial institutions coverage division, and be based in London.

Tutun joined Jefferies in 2007 and previously worked at units of both Bank of America and Credit Suisse, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records.

Spokesmen for Jefferies and Bank of America declined to comment. Ooten and Tutun didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Jefferies, owned by Leucadia National Corp., has won market share over the years from rival investment banks in some areas, as stricter rules curb some forms of lending at larger competitors. While it’s lost deal share this year among underwriters of both U.S. leveraged loans and high-yield debt, it had climbed in leveraged loans last year to 11th place from No. 35 in 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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