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Jefferies embarks on FX hiring spree

Jefferies, the independent investment bank, is embarking on an expansion of its foreign exchange business with some key hires, sources tell EuromoneyFXNews.

 Ben Welsh

It is believed that the firm has hired Ben Welsh, from Goldman Sachs’ commodity division, in a senior FX role, while EuromoneyFXNews reported on Friday that the bank had also hired Dan O’Sullivan from Société Générale, where he was the global co-head of FX trading, based in New York. The association of Welsh and O’Sullivan spans several years. Welsh quit his job as co-head of fixed income, currencies and commodities at UniCredit in April 2009, before heading to JPMorgan and then on to Goldman.

O’Sullivan ran FX trading at UniCredit until he joined SocGén in March 2010. Prior to UniCredit, the two had worked together at HSBC, having both started their careers at Goldman.

Jefferies declined to confirm the hires.

In April, the boutique investment bank bought Prudential Bache, the commodities and financial derivatives unit of Prudential Financial, for $430 million, which ranked in 66th position with US customers in Euromoney’s FX survey this year.

Jefferies has been the focus of attention in recent weeks because of its $2.7 billion European sovereign debt exposure, which led the independent ratings agency Egan-Jones to cut its rating from BBB to BBB-, and trading of its shares has been suspended twice. At the same time, the bank reported a 20% increase in third-quarter revenues from the same time a year ago.

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