Hire Wire Aug 04 2011

Jefferies Continues Asian Expansion

By julie steinberg

Continuing with its plans for Asian expansion, Jefferies announced the addition of four managing directors in the region, all of whom will work in global equities.

In April, the firm created an equity sales, trading and research group that spans Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, India, Korea and Taiwan (a similar office opened in Hong Kong last December).

The four new additions, Marcus Okuno, Chua Lee Leng, Lisa Lau and Conor O'Mara, will be joining that group.

After three years of hiring aggressively so it could challenge established investment banks, Jefferies said in March it would slow headcount expansion and focus on selective hires in the second half of 2011. During a conference call in July, executive committee chairman Brian Friedman said those selective hires would occur primarily in Europe and Asia.

The firm did not immediately return a request for comment.

The global equities group numbers more than 700 professionals, over 200 of them outside the U.S.

Okuno joins in equity sales in Tokyo and comes from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was most recently a director in equity sales.

Lee Leng will work in equity sales and trading in Singapore, joining from UBS, where she was executive director, regional equity sales. She has also worked at HSBC and Merrill Lynch.

Lau will become co-head of Hong Kong and China sales trading in Hong Kong. She joins from China International Capital Corporation Limited, where she was head of equity sales trading. She also worked as a sales trader at Societe Generale.

O'Mara joins in equity sales and trading in Hong Kong. He comes from Morgan Stanley, where he spent 17 years and as an executive director in the strategic investment group.

Write to Julie Steinberg at julies@fins.com

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