Sayeth executive committee chairman Brian Friedman and CEO Richard Handler, in a memo to employees:
For the past few extremely painful days, the media has been reporting on one person's very personal and inflammatory allegations, some of which relates to several of our employee-partners and two of our clients. We cannot express how deeply we regret the agony and distraction that this has caused all of us, not to mention our clients, each of whom has categorically denied the allegations. If you know us personally, and most of you do, you know how seriously we are taking this matter and how focused we are on always doing the right thing. Our mindset is always to be straightforward and transparent with all information, and we will do our best to do so in this situation, but we also must be mindful of personal privacy issues and legal complexities.
In an effort to deal with these matters, Sage Kelly has requested a voluntary leave of absence. Sage is embroiled in a deeply personal and painful situation and, as such, we have decided to accept his decision to take time off to focus on doing what is in the best interests of his children. In our hearts, we wish Sage and his family only the best.
Ben Lorello, in addition to leading our Global Investment Banking effort, will directly oversee our healthcare sector team. Ben, who himself has been falsely and unfairly maligned, has continued to demonstrate leadership, integrity and character in helping us deal with these matters.
As with most pain, there is often a positive: Our healthcare team, one of the very best on Wall Street, is rallying together. They have the integrity, effectiveness, commitment and respect that make us a world class firm. We have spoken with a number of our clients, and the general outpouring of support they are showing Jefferies should make us proud to serve them.
We are not happy to be in this unfair position. At the same time, we know that our individual and collective integrity is what defines Jefferies, and we will never compromise our values or our principles. We are building a firm that our clients greatly value and depend upon. Once again, it is time for all of us to step up and show the world what we are capable of accomplishing. That is what we do at Jefferies.
Thank you for caring as much as we do,
Rich and Brian
Earlier: Jefferies Exec Sage Kelly (Allegedly!) Employs Unorthodox Approach For Landing Clients (Update); Jefferies Exec (Allegedly!) Held An Offsite “Mushrooms Day”; Jefferies Exec Details All The Places He’s Never Mistaken For A Toilet