Jefferies’ Retail Unit Loses Senior Manager, Top Broker
Frank Scheuer, chief operating officer of Jefferies’ compact wealth management business for the last six years, has unexpectedly announced his early retirement and Rick A. Davidson, one of Jefferies’ top brokers, also has left the New York-based firm, well-placed sources within and outside of the company said.
Scheuer and Davidson, who were colleagues earlier in their careers at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and its successor, Credit Suisse Private Banking, left earlier this week.
Davidson, a 32-year industry veteran, joined Jefferies from Morgan Stanley 15 months ago, saying he was eager to return to a firm that gave him ready access to trading desks in order to get good executions for clients. He produced around $3.25 million and oversaw some $200 million of assets from about 250 client accounts, said people familiar with his book, and is expected to join independent broker-dealer National Securities in New York City, a unit of publicly traded National Holding Corp.
The 54-year-old broker confirmed on Friday that he left Jefferies. He cited outdated technology and insufficient management support.
A spokesman for Jefferies declined to comment.
Scheuer, who according to a Jefferies internal memo is a three-decade industry veteran, has been COO of the firm’s wealth business since August 2011. He did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Prior to joining Jefferies, Scheuer was head of Deutsche Bank’s “operating platform,” according to his LinkedIn profile.
The departures accent a continuing wave of change among the senior ranks of Jefferies’ small wealth-management group. Primarily a middle-market investment bank and trading firm, the company employs about 55 retail and middle-market corporate advisors in nine offices in the U.S. and abroad.
The reluctance of Jefferies’ top executives to commit to growing the retail business has led to a revolving-door-syndrome at the unit, said people who have worked there but would not speak for attribution.
Current wealth management head Robert Peyreigne joined last November from Morgan Stanley, where he had long been a complex manager. He replaced Michael Armstrong, another former Morgan Stanley sales management executive, who stepped down from Jefferies in April 2016 in preparation for becoming head of the much larger U.S. wealth management business of Royal Bank of Canada.
Armstrong had filled the seat of Mark Peters, another DLJ veteran who joined in 2009 to build Jefferies retail brokerage prowess but to join a hedge fund.
“We see a terrific opportunity to grow Jefferies’ wealth management business given the reduction in the number of full-service Wall Street firms serving this market,” Richard B. Handler, chairman and chief executive of the firm, said when his firm hired Peters to run the business in 2009.
Although struggling to maintain equilibrium across its retail franchise, Jefferies, which merged with insurance company Leucadia National Corp. in 2013, added several “international” brokers with Latin American clientele in Miami and Los Angeles earlier this year. Last month it two of its largest producers, who were based in Atlanta, left to join Morgan Stanley.
-Mason Braswell contributed to this story.