PARTNER FEATURE: Jefferies rose from humble beginnings in 1962 to become one of a handful of leading global full-service investment banking and capital market firms.

The company’s investment banking capabilities include M&A, equity capital markets, debt capital markets, debt advisory and restructuring, private capital advisory, and leveraged financing.

While other investment banks and lending firms have been rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation and geopolitical unrest, Jefferies has been in expansion mode over the past several years as it branches out to serve additional clients internationally while also supporting organic growth in the United States.

With a 37% organic share growth since 2013, it’s now one of the largest global investment banking firms with coverage in more than 95 sectors. The company’s number of global offices grew from 33 in 2019 to 47 in 2023 across 21 countries.

As of March 2024, it has more than 5,700 employees across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions, with one in three employees based outside of the US. 

The company’s revenue has increased by 18% from 2013 to 2023 and it has closed $1.7 trillion in transactions over the past three years.

On the M&A advisory front, Jefferies participated in 150 companies sold in 2023, for an average of three per week.

Jefferies is now the sixth-largest global investment banking and capital market firm, based on 2023 U.S. M&A, equity capital markets and leveraged finance fee pool information from Dealogic.

It is backed by a strategic alliance with Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC). In 2021, SMBC provided $2.25 billion in financing to Jefferies and purchased approximately 4.5% of the issued and outstanding common shares of the company.

In April 2023, the alliance was further bolstered by SMBC announcing its intention to raise its economic ownership to up to 15%, which would result in SMBC becoming one of Jefferies largest shareholders.

Recently, the two companies expanded their global strategic alliance to now include more collaboration across Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa on future corporate and investment banking opportunities.

Opportunities abound for mobile operator growth
Supported by that institutional growth, Jefferies expanded its coverage in the telecommunications sector several years ago to include the mobile ecosystem to advise operators on M&A, spectrum auctions and investments in 5G networks.

Key to its growth in the tech media and telecom sector was the hiring ofLawrence Chu in 2022 as a Vice Chairman at Jefferies and Global Head of its Telecommunications group. He provides financial and strategic advice to large cap companies globally with a special focus on the communications, media and technology sectors. Chu has more than 25 years of experience in this sector and has advised on over $600 billion worth of strategic transactions.

Prior to Jefferies, he held key executive roles Moelis & Company, Greenhill & Co. and Evercore Partners. Chu was also a special advisor to the US Federal Communications Commission, where he helped lead its broadcast incentive auction.

Chu has advised on transactions with companies such as AT&T, Shentel, Ligado Networks and T-Mobile US.

Lawrence Chu, Vice Chairman at Jefferies and Global Head of its Telecommunications Group

Mobile operators, as well as cable service providers, are looking to grow their profitability by cutting costs, increasing network efficiency and expanding their services or footprints through M&A.

Jefferies provides operators and telecommunications-adjacent companies with the ability to tap into capital markets to invest in their growth strategies by underwriting bonds or arranging loans. It can also help telecommunications companies leverage equity markets for funding.

In times of turmoil when competitors have downsized their headcounts or pulled back from certain areas of investment, Jefferies has grown significantly as a company that can support the specific growth and investment needs of the mobile industry as well as the entire telecommunications sector.