Top Firm Mourns Death Of 'Role Model' Vice Chairman


Sad to report that Robert H. Lessin, 56, Vice Chairman at Jefferies, died on Monday evening. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Here's the email that Jefferies' CEO Richard Handler sent out to staff Tuesday morning:

'Bob's First 7 Minutes in Heaven

It is with very heavy hearts that we share with you that our dear friend and invaluable colleague, Bob Lessin, passed away last night. For those of us who had the opportunity to know Bob well, and there are thousands and thousands of us, we all know our lives will never be the same again.

Bob loved life. His multitude of clients were his best friends, his best friends were his family, and his immediate family felt his love every day. As a leader in our industry and of Jefferies, Bob was a true visionary. He was selfless, brilliant, creative and constantly in perpetual motion. His aura and energy commanded every meeting he was in, even if he would only allow the meeting to last about seven Bob would tell us, 'no meeting needs to be any longer!'.

Bob was the initial energy behind sharing all relevant (as permitted) information across our entire firm. He was the initial force behind our expansion across the world. He told us when things weren't working and what we needed to do to fix it. Although every client wanted to be exclusive to Bob, he insisted on sharing every single relationship he ever had and only considered himself a success when he deemed himself 'irrelevant'...which of course he never was. Bob bled for his clients, and he bled for Jefferies. He never saw a conflict between those interests. Bob was all about integrity, honesty and directness. He did not have a political bone in his body and we never saw him act with agenda or self purpose. He was philanthropic with his wealth, but also with his time. Bob was a role model to every one of us and we all learned how to be a better person every time we were with him. We could go on and on about what he meant to us and our firm, but out of deference to Bob, we will keep this message focused.

We will provide details on the memorial service as soon as they are available. This is a sad day for Jefferies, but a good day in Heaven, as we are sure Bob is already in a meeting with the powers that be and providing his check list of things that need to be done immediately to improve the humanity of the entire globe...but then he will adjourn the meeting quickly as he has another one he is already late for. May Bob's memory be for a blessing for his family, for all of us and for all others who loved him'.

Richard Handler said: 'I loved the man and am a better person for having had him in my life. He left his mark all over Jefferies, and every day we were lucky enough to have him at Jefferies he positively affected the lives of his colleagues and clients'.

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