Jefferies Sues Cantor in U.K. After Its Bankers Leave for Brokerage

(Bloomberg) -- Jefferies Financial Group Inc. is going after Cantor Fitzgerald LP, the home of its former star banker Sage Kelly, suing the brokerage and three investment bankers who left the firm last year.

The bank filed a lawsuit in London last month against Cantor and three bankers in its power, energy and infrastructure group. Jefferies lost 24 people in the energy coverage team to its New York-based rival last year.

While brokers have regularly turned to the U.K. courts to combat poaching of their staff, it’s rarer for a bank to do so. The lawsuit comes about a year after the bankers moved to Cantor, lured by Kelly, who now leads the firm’s investment bank.

Jefferies named Cantor Fitzgerald’s global and Hong Kong operations as defendants in its lawsuit as well as three former employees including Carlos Candil, now a managing director at Cantor, according to his LinkedIn profile.

A spokesman for Jefferies declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Cantor.

Kelly, who ran health-care banking at Jefferies, resigned from the bank in late 2014 after his divorce became tabloid news that riveted Wall Street. He joined Cantor Fitzgerald in 2016 to oversee its capital markets business.

He was joined shortly afterwards by Anshu Jain, the former co-chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank AG, who was tasked with building out the brokerage and stealing share from larger banking rivals.

The case is Jefferies International Ltd. & Others v Cantor Fitzgerald & Co & Others, High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division, Case No. QB-2018-000445.

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