Published On: Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015

Richard Handler of Leucadia Wants to Rescue Companies

Leucadia wants troubled yet potentially successful companies at their doorstep

Richard B. Handler,   CEO of Jefferies Group Speaks At The Milken Scholars Program Alumni Symposium

Richard Handler of Leucadia says he wants his firm to be the one companies with profit potential turn to when they need a financial boost, according to Bloomberg. 

CEO of Leucadia Richard Handler and President Brian Friedman wrote in a letter to investors that they want Leucadia to be “the one who gets the call.” Leucadia took over Jeffries in 2013. Since the merger, the combined company has seen success in investing in companies that need a little financial backing to get going again. The firm gained 50% in its investment in Harbinger Group and thinks its $300 million loan to FXCM will pay off.

Handler said of the financing, according to Bloomberg, “Bite sizes below $500 million fit our current capitalization and should allow us to take meaningful stakes enjoy heavy influence (or, better yet, control) please our bondholders and build our shareholders equity.”

Another major success story prior to Jeffries’ being taken over by Leucadia, was the rescue of Knight Capital, which was headed for bankruptcy because of a technical glitch. Jeffries made $192 million in cash on the deal and has 22.5 million shares in the recovered company.

Richard Handler and Brian Friedman are back on their feet after a bruising scandal forced them to take drug tests to prove Jeffries management were not junkies. Former Jeffries partner, Sage Kelly, resigned after his ex wife Christina alleged Jeffries had a compulsory and compulsive drug abusing culture. Her claims appeared to be motivated by a desire to secure exclusive custody. Handler and Friedman were clean of drugs, but the bank lost more than a few clients in the scandal, and both men were forced to forfeit their bonuses because of the shortfall.

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