Jefferies to pay cash bonuses for 2012: report

Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:40pm EST

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Dec 11 (Reuters) - Jefferies Group Inc is paying employees their year-end bonuses in cash as the investment bank tries to lure talent away from bigger rivals, according to a Bloomberg News report.

Jefferies, which agreed last month to sell itself to Leucadia National Corp, is also extending the amount of time that employees who quit must wait before working for competitors, said Bloomberg, which cited an internal memo signed by Chief Executive Richard Handler and executive committee Chairman Brian Friedman.

Jefferies spokesman Richard Khaleel declined to comment on the matter. Handler said the memo was not meant to be shared with the press.

The mid-size investment bank has been on a mission to bolster its cadre of bankers and traders with lucrative compensation packages, as larger competitors shrink their workforces and face pay restrictions under new regulations.

Competitors including Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley have capped payouts, put more of their bonus awards into deferred stock and implemented clawbacks on pay in recent years, in response to rules on pay aimed at curbing risk-taking at large U.S. banks. The restrictions are meant to align employees' incentives with shareholders over the long-term.

Jefferies' pay packages have come with fewer strings attached. Last year, for instance, the company offered workers the option of taking their bonuses in stock, or in cash at a 25 percent discount.

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