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Senior Wall Street Executive Dies of Coronavirus

Senior Wall Street Executive Dies of Coronavirus
March 31
11:13 2020

By Liz Hoffman

The 56-year-old chief financial officer of investment bank Jefferies has died from the coronavirus, the firm said Sunday. He is the first senior Wall Street executive known to have succumbed to the disease, which has killed more than 30,000 people world-wide.

The New York-based firm announced Peg Broadbent’s death Sunday morning and named Teri Gendron, currently CFO of Jefferies’s financial-services arm, as his interim successor.

“His decency, calmness and dry wit were always there, always making things better,” Jefferies CEO Rich Handler and President Brian Friedman wrote in a joint statement. “We will miss him terribly.”

A U.K. native who worked in the firm’s New York office, Mr. Broadbent—Peg was short for Peregrine—started his career at a predecessor firm to PricewaterhouseCoopers and spent 16 years at Morgan Stanley, where his wife, Hayley, was a longtime executive. He had been CFO at Jefferies since 2007, making him one of Wall Street’s longest-serving finance chiefs and one of only a few still in the job who had weathered the 2008 recession.

Mr. Broadbent “helped us build Jefferies from less than half its current size, and navigate through hard times and good times,” Messrs. Handler and Friedman said.

Tom Thees worked with Mr. Broadbent at Morgan Stanley, where Mr. Thees was a senior trading executive. He remembered a discussion with Mr. Broadbent in 2002, when the two disagreed over valuations in the firm’s corporate-bond book.

“He was the ultimate professional,” said Mr. Thees, who before picking up a call from a reporter had fired off a note of condolence to Messrs. Handler and Friedman. “He did his job and did it well.”

As the coronavirus has spread across the world, much of its destruction has been borne by older people or by workers who interact with the general public—health-care providers, store owners and others whose jobs mean they can’t easily isolate themselves.

Mr. Broadbent was neither. He was the CFO of a large white-collar company that, like most, has been largely working remotely for the past few weeks.

It couldn’t immediately be determined when Mr. Broadbent fell ill or whether he had underlying health conditions that might have contributed to his death. Coronavirus is especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems and pre-existing lung or other health problems.

When Jefferies reported its quarterly earnings on Thursday, Mr. Broadbent’s name, typically listed at the bottom of the release, was missing.

Paul Wirth, Morgan Stanley’s deputy CFO, called Mr. Broadbent “a typical Englishman,” reserved but genuine and hard-working. He had a loyal enough following at the Wall Street firm that many of his subordinates later followed him to Jefferies.

“There are a lot of people out there who are going to be very lost because of this,” Mr. Wirth said.

Source of wall street

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