Three Jefferies Distressed-Debt Employees Said to Leave Firm

  • Brickfield, Sommer, Carley said to have departed recently
  • Jefferies said to hire Deutsche Bank’s Silvas for sales job

Three employees from Jefferies Group’s distressed-debt desk have left recently, people with knowledge of the matter said, as the New York investment bank seeks to restructure the business.

Analyst George Brickfield departed Sept. 30 and Jay Sommer, a sourcer of assets for trading, exited in the past six weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the moves haven’t been made public. Both were managing directors. Michael Carley Jr., an analyst and vice president, also left last month, reducing the desk to six employees, the people said.

Jefferies, owned by Leucadia National Corp., has been working to rebuild its distressed-debt operations since the departure last year of head trader Drew Doscher. The unit lost at least $90 million in 2015, dragging down the firm’s total fixed-income results and prompting Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler and executive committee Chairman Brian Friedman to shake up management in some areas of bond trading.

The bank is in discussions to hire a debt trader and is considering filling at least one of the research positions, the people said. Joe Femenia, who replaced Doscher as head of distressed-debt trading, helped recruit Nick Silvas, 33, a Deutsche Bank AG leveraged-finance salesman, for a related desk, the people said. He’ll start in January and will report to Jon Bass, head of fixed-income distribution, the people said.

Richard Khaleel, a Jefferies spokesman, declined to comment, as did Carley and Silvas. Brickfield and Sommer didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Seaport Alumni

Brickfield and Sommer joined Jefferies in November 2013, about the time Doscher took over the desk, according to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority records. They had worked with Doscher at Seaport Group LLC since at least 2010, the records show. Carley also worked at Seaport, where Doscher was formerly co-head of sales and trading, according to Finra.

Jefferies also has reorganized leadership of its high-yield sales desk. Dan Raedle, who led U.S. high-yield sales since mid-2015, was reassigned last week to be a salesman, the people said. Raedle declined to comment.

The investment bank reported total trading revenue of $195 million in the fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 31, fueled partly by increased distressed and high-yield trading volumes, Jefferies said in October. A year earlier, energy positions held by the distressed desk helped lead to an $18 million loss in fixed-income trading.

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