Jefferies

To Our Clients:

DO THESE TRAITS, CHARACTERISTICS, AND QUALITIES DESCRIBE YOU?

2017 is upon us and the turn of the year is often a period to take stock of oneself, make new resolutions, and plan goals and aspirations for the New Year. In writing our first employee letter of calendar 2017, we have decided to reflect upon the traits, characteristics and qualities that we believe describe our most important and treasured partners at Jefferies. These are the people whom we count on day after day, quarter after quarter, year after year, and often decade after decade. No organization can ever have enough of these special men and women. Remarkably, even if you are fortunate enough to just have a handful of them pulling in the same direction in your company, it is amazing what can be accomplished. Human capital will always be our most valuable asset at Jefferies and since we believe most of our clients feel the very same way, we thought we would share our employee letter with each of you as our first quarterly client letter of 2017.

Our most valuable and prized employee-partners:

  1. Enthusiastically embrace honesty and integrity. It is not in their DNA to cut even one corner. They understand that every problem needs to be escalated transparently and that, just like we tell our children, “the cover up is always worse than the crime.” They “own” our brand and recognize that there are thousands of co-workers and their families depending upon them to do the right thing every day.

  2. Always put the interests of our clients, our firm and our colleagues ahead of their own. They share a sense of responsibility of which they are proud and realize it is not an obligation or burden to do the right thing – it is a privilege and honor.

  3. Are creative, flexible, adaptive and hungry for the best solutions for complex problems. Our best partners constantly push themselves outside of their comfort zones and use all of their partners’ collective abilities at Jefferies to add value to our clients every day. At the end of the day, they realize that all we are is a collection of people with a common goal of constantly adding value to our incredible group of clients as they tackle their most important challenges.

  4. Are hungry, ambitious, and willing to work tirelessly and passionately to achieve the firm’s, our clients’ and their own personal long-term goals. They realize it is a strength to be “aspirational” and “highly competitive,” and want to be measured and rewarded honestly based on their and our firm’s contributions to our clients. They understand it is a positive to have long term personal wealth creation be one of their goals.  They also understand that with that success comes the opportunity, luxury and responsibility to give back to society and to others less fortunate.

  5. Appreciate their team members and our support people, and strive to help, teach and mentor, as well as show their appreciation. They remember that it was just yesterday when they were junior and how much it meant to them when senior leaders cared about them, took the time to train them, and helped them navigate their own career path. Unfortunately every one of us in business also remembers the few senior people throughout our own careers who took them for granted, used them for their own self-interest, and never made a personal sacrifice to help them in any way. Our real leaders at Jefferies willingly give up smaller accounts, allow juniors to help them on large accounts, always bring the junior people who "did the work" to the meetings with clients, care about the life balance of the people who support them, and never forget what it was like when they wore the shoes of an aspiring junior future leader.

  6. Know that, when the fit is not right with someone in our firm, the situation must be handled with respect, kindness and compassion. If it is at all possible or practical, they give as much of a "heads up" in advance as they can and they even try to help with the next job placement where there is hopefully a better fit for all parties. Our best partners know that treating everyone with courtesy and respect is not just the right thing to do from a business perspective, but it is how decent people live their lives.

  7. Never rest on yesterday’s success and are always learning, investing in themselves, adapting to the changing environment and reinventing themselves. They realize that no matter how great a result he or she achieved yesterday, last quarter or last year, the only goal that currently matters is building and succeeding today, tomorrow, and driving towards the future.

  8. Always help us recruit more of the best and the brightest. They fully understand that the smarter the team around them, the smarter they will be. And they know that a diverse team is the right thing for Jefferies not because it’s politically correct but because it makes Jefferies a better and more productive company. They are always on the look-out for talent, and it doesn’t matter if it is for their specific business or any other area within the firm. They are constantly spreading the word about Jefferies, and always looking to help build our firm. They are also great judges of which talent will make a positive long term difference for our clients and our firm. They also serve as "gate keepers" to make sure we do our best to keep out everyone who does not share our collective values. Importantly, they also recognize that sometimes remarkable talent becomes available and while at first it may appear threatening or career limiting in some short sighted way, they fully embrace the concept that new smart A players combined with our existing smart A players is great for everyone. That is why they work so hard to welcome, integrate, and bond with our new partners immediately.

  9. Understand the importance of their personal work-life balance. They recognize that an unhappy, unhealthy or unbalanced person will not survive in the long term. They realize their family and friends need them to be healthy. They also have enough self-respect to know they deserve it for themselves. The demands, challenges and pressures are great in our industry. Our best leaders know that if they can’t be good role models themselves in this important area, the rest of the firm who looks up to them will get the wrong message on priorities.

  10. Are long-term greedy and never short-term greedy and always rise to the occasion during crunch time. Our best partners know that their direct rewards depend upon our clients' success, each of our operating businesses success, the overall success of our firm AND their individual success.  They recognize that careers and life are long (hopefully) and everyone one of us remembers how our co-workers acted not just in good times, but especially in challenging times or circumstances. In fact challenging times or difficult circumstances are perfect for magnifying the best in someone's character, but they also can do the same for the unfortunate other side as well. Our best partners choose to have a career versus a job, and to build lifelong relationships and have the goal of creating a true legacy for themselves and for our firm.  They also know how fortunate they are to be in this industry and to call Jefferies our home.

To our employees, we hope you are well rested (we are) and ready to hit the ground running hard in 2017. Our firm is extremely well positioned and we have not been as optimistic of what we can accomplish together since the financial crises in 2008 nine years ago. That said, we fully recognize the world can change in a moment and we will all stand ready to adapt to whatever comes our way. We accept that everyone is human and we all have our bad moments, but we would like to leave you with one question to ponder: "Are you willing to give it your absolute best effort every single day of 2017 to embody these important traits so all of us at Jefferies can win together?"

To our clients, we are tremendously appreciative of your support, partnership and trust. We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in 2017 and are always personally available if we can assist each of you in any way possible.  

To all we wish you and your families the happiest and healthiest New Year!

Sincerely,

Rich and Brian

 

RICHARD B. HANDLER
Chairman of the Board and CEO
1.212.284.2555
rhandler@jefferies.com
@handlerrich Twitter | Instagram
BRIAN P. FRIEDMAN
Chairman, Executive Committee
1.212.284.1701
bfriedman@jefferies.com