To bolster its electronic trading and prime brokerage services, Jefferies & Co. hired 14 people from Banc of America Securities (BAS) in a span of eight days at the end of February and beginning of March. The raiding began in November 2005 when Jefferies lured BAS' head of electronic trading services, Ross Stevens, to head equity products. Of the new hires, at least eight worked directly with Stevens at BAS, including Jason Griffith, who was hired as cohead of equity products alongside Stevens; and Vlad Portnoy, who will serve as Jefferies' head of quantitative strategies. Additionally, Jefferies hired six financial engineers and technologists, as well as a six-person prime brokerage services team, directly from BAS.
This type of poaching isn't unheard of, according to Adam Sussman, senior analyst with TABB Group. "If someone has had success at a company, the best way to reproduce that success is to bring over as many people that were part of the story," he explains. --C.L.