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Investment Bank Jefferies Cancels All Business Travel As COVID Rises

Jefferies Financial Group has alerted employees to cancel all work-related travel plans as the Omicron variant continues to spread, The Post has learned.

The New York-based boutique investment bank – headed by chief executive Richard Handler – had urged employees to cancel most trips last month, but had not gone so far as to force it, sources close to them say form the bank.

Last month, Jefferies was the first major bank on Wall Street to re-impose a mask warrant, fire employees home and cancel holiday parties amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

At the time, CEO Handler said in a leaked memo that the company saw more than 40 new cases in the first week of December alone. The investment bank, which has 3,000 employees worldwide, also has offices in Asia and Europe.

At Jefferies, a suggestion to eliminate business travel has become a mandate.
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Jefferies was also among the first large companies to cancel an event at the Consumer Electronics Show, sources told The Post.

The staff returned to the offices in October. Jefferies has been particularly sensitive to the impact of the pandemic. CFO Peg Broadbent died of complications from the coronavirus in March 2020.

More than 95% of Jefferies ‘staff are now vaccinated and all visitors to Jefferies’ offices must be fully vaccinated, Handler said in last month’s note.

Jefferies logo displayed on a smartphone
The boutique investment bank suffered a tragedy near her home when CFO Peg Broadbent died of coronavirus in 2020.
SOPA / LightRocket images via Gett

“This is why, with few exceptions, most of our new cases did not require hospitalization,” Handler wrote in the note, which was obtained by Reuters.

In the weeks that followed, other banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup followed suit and encouraged employees to work remotely for several weeks until the number of new cases declined.

Jefferies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

New York Post

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