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Awards for Excellence 2013: Best Independent investment bank

Jefferies took advantage of setbacks in the broader market to diversify its business; that and its close attention to client interests have been the making of its success.

Awards for Excellence 2013

Best Independent investment bank: Jefferies

Also shortlisted: Moelis & Co and Ondra Partners

It was a small deal, at just $233 million, but last August’s initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange of shares in Manchester United was a marquee transaction, so well known is England’s most successful football club. The deal had also been a troubled one. The club’s owners and advisers had harboured ambitions to float a much bigger deal, perhaps $1 billion, in Hong Kong or Singapore, and extract a high valuation from retail investors across Asia, where the club has millions of supporters who avidly follow the English Premier League.

These plans backfired and one of the lead firms, Morgan Stanley, withdrew. Talk turned to a possible London listing. At this point Jefferies & Co emerged to take a lead role, eventually securing the deal in New York. "We’ve known the Glazer family [Malcolm Glazer owns the club] for 20 years," says Rich Handler, chief executive of Jefferies.

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