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Ryan McQueeney

Here's What An Investment Bank CEO Told His Employees About Inequality


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After the recent controversies that resulted in the CEOs of Mylan (MYL - Analyst Report) and Wells Fargo (WFC - Analyst Report) testifying before Congress, the American public is understandably skeptical of corporate leadership. Richard Handler, the CEO of investment bank Jefferies and its parent company Leucadia National (LUK - Snapshot Report) , is trying to make sure his clients trust his company.

Handler’s method of ensuring trust in his company came in the form of an open letter to his clients reminding them to be understanding about the income divide in this country. Handler’s note pointed out that the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” has grown, and he highlighted the frustration of many people struggling in this country.

“The massive infusion of bailout money, low interest rates, and resulting stock market and real estate advances have helped those with the most assets, but have done little to directly improve the lives of the hard-working every day middle class families who are the bedrock of society,” he said.

Handler’s note seemed to be a direct response to the recent fraudulent account-opening scandal at Wells Fargo, but he was careful to mention that his company was not specifically “judging any company that is currently in the news concerning congressional hearings.”

Nevertheless, Handler made it clear that Jefferies would not stand for this type of behavior in its own ranks:

“Bad behavior has no place in our firm and, when identified and factually proven, we have no choice but to deal swiftly and with regard only for our other thousands of employee-partners, shareholders, bondholders and clients that depend on us every day to do the right thing,” he said.

A full version of the letter can be found on the company’s website.

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