Here's an email sent over the long holiday weekend to all Jefferies employees / partners by CEO Richard Handler and President Freidman:
'For those of us coming to work this week in our New York Global Headquarters, you will notice something new on OUR building.
Here are some thoughts from the two of us.
Why we put our name on every corner and entrance of our building:
1. During our 50 year history, Jefferies has gone from renegade, to maverick, to upstart to a world class investment banking firm. It is never a short path, but our firm is becoming a real brand in our industry and the justified signage will only help bring more positive awareness of our firm.
2. We are proud to be at Jefferies and we want everyone who counts to know it.
3. We don't want anyone to think for even a second that just because we are part of a wonderful company called Leucadia, we are not fully independent, responsible for our own success, and still have the need and pressure to perform every single day.
4. To remind everyone that we are a firm of critical mass and substance. There will be over 1,600 of us working in this building sharing a common goal. We are about cross selling, true team work and uniting our strong team of talented people to get the job done for our clients and our shareholders.
5. Rich is getting sick and tired of people coming up to him and asking, "If you are the CEO of the high end fashion store Jeffreys in the Meatpacking District, why do you dress so badly?" It's Jefferies, not Jeffreys damnit!!!
NOT why we put our name all over 520 Madison Avenue:
1. Time for arrogance to flaunt our successes.
2. To show the world it is about our brand, and not about our people.
3. We have money to burn and it's time to start. (Aside from our paying for the actual signs and their installation, this did not cost anything incremental to our lease - or we wouldn't have done it.)
4. So we can all relax a little and coast because we clearly have "made it." This couldn't be further from the truth. We each feel more pressure to perform every single day, and when our "jersey" is on display for all to see, we should all just want to try even harder.
5. To put a bigger bulls eye on all of us. The fact of the matter is that it is there already. Our competitors do not like us. We are gaining ground. We offer a better alternative. We are hungrier. We did not take taxpayer money. The Big Bank Holding Companies have trillion dollar balance sheets, but we are nimble, aggressive, client focused and we work at our firm where we can each actually make a difference.
Get the sand out of your ears, your back to school shopping should be done, and let's put an end to a slow and less than fully productive summer and hit the ground running today in every Jefferies office worldwide.
Rich and Brian'