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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
                                                               
 
 For the fiscal year ended
November 30, 2019
or
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission file number:  1-5721
JEFFERIES FINANCIAL GROUP INC.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in its Charter)
New York
13-2615557
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
 
 
 
 
520 Madison Avenue
New York,
New York
10022
(Address of principal executive offices)
(Zip Code)
(212) 460-1900
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Trading Symbol(s)
Name of each exchange on which registered
 Common Shares, par value $1 per share
JEF
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None.
(Title of Class)

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.     Yes ¨  No  x
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes x No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).Yes x   No  ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer
 
Accelerated filer 
 
Non-accelerated filer    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Smaller reporting company  
 
Emerging growth company  
 
 
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).     Yes   No x
Aggregate market value of the voting stock of the registrant held by non-affiliates of the registrant at May 31, 2019 (computed by reference to the last reported closing sale price of the Common Shares on the New York Stock Exchange on such date):  $4,668,438,072.
On January 17, 2020, the registrant had outstanding 287,939,689 Common Shares.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE:
Certain portions of the registrant's Definitive Proxy Statement pursuant to Regulation 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 in connection with the 2020 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.

LOCATION OF EXHIBIT INDEX
The index of exhibits is contained in Part IV on page 63.



PART I
Item 1.    Business.
Overview
Jefferies Financial Group Inc. ("Jefferies," "we," "our" or the "Company") is a diversified financial services company engaged in investment banking and capital markets, asset management and direct investing. Jefferies Group LLC ("Jefferies Group"), our largest subsidiary, is the largest independent full-service global investment banking firm headquartered in the U.S. Jefferies Group retains a credit rating separate from Jefferies and remains a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") reporting company.
Our strategy focuses on strengthening and expanding our core businesses of Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management, while continuing to simplify our structure and return capital to our shareholders. We are simplifying through a managed transformation of our direct investing, or "Merchant Banking," business, which, during 2018 and 2019, has included the sale of our investments in National Beef Packing Company, LLC ("National Beef") and Garcadia, the transfer of some of our financial assets to Jefferies Group (Berkadia Commercial Mortgage Holding LLC ("Berkadia") and Leucadia Asset Management ("LAM")) and the special dividend to our shareholders of our investment in Spectrum Brands Holdings, Inc. ("Spectrum Brands"). In keeping with our strategy, a meaningful portion of the proceeds of these transactions has been returned to shareholders through share repurchases. During the past two fiscal years, we have returned to shareholders in excess of $2.4 billion through share repurchases and dividends.
Our executive offices are located at 520 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10022, as is the global headquarters of Jefferies Group. Our primary telephone number is (212) 460-1900 and our website address is www.jefferies.com. At November 30, 2019, we had approximately 4,800 full-time employees.
The discussion in this Annual Report on Form 10-K should be read in conjunction with the Risk Factors presented in Item 1A of Part I and the Cautionary Statement for Forward-Looking Information and Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations set forth in Item 7 of Part II.
Recent Events
On June 5, 2018, we completed the sale of 48% of National Beef to Marfrig Global Foods S.A. ("Marfrig") for $907.7 million in cash, reducing our then ownership in National Beef from 79% to 31%. In 2018, we recognized a pre-tax gain related to the sale of $873.5 million. On November 29, 2019, we sold our remaining 31% equity interest in National Beef to Marfrig and other shareholders and received a total of $970.0 million in cash, including $790.6 million of proceeds from Marfrig and other shareholders and $179.4 million from final distributions from National Beef around the time of the sale. We recognized a pre-tax gain of $205.0 million on this sale. As of November 30, 2019, we no longer hold an equity interest in National Beef.

In September 2019, our Board of Directors approved a distribution to stockholders of our Spectrum Brands shares. We distributed 7,514,477 Spectrum Brands shares through a special pro rata dividend effective on October 11, 2019 to stockholders of record as of the close of business on September 30, 2019.

Through June 30, 2019, we owned an approximate 70% equity interest in HomeFed Corporation ("HomeFed"), which owns and develops residential and mixed use real estate properties. We accounted for our interest under the equity method. On July 1, 2019, we completed a merger with HomeFed by which we acquired the remaining common stock of HomeFed. From July 1, 2019, the results of HomeFed are reflected on a consolidated basis. In connection with the merger, HomeFed stockholders received two shares of our common stock for each share of HomeFed common stock. A total of 9.3 million shares were issued, which were valued at $178.8 million at closing based on the market price of our common shares. As an offset to these issued shares, our Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of an additional 9.25 million shares. In 2019, we recognized a $72.1 million non-cash pre-tax gain on the revaluation of our 70% interest in HomeFed to fair value.

During 2019, we repurchased a total of 25,926,388 of our common shares for $506.2 million, or an average price per share of $19.52.

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Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management
Our Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management segment is comprised of our investment in Jefferies Group, the largest independent U.S. headquartered global full-service, integrated investment banking and securities firm. Jefferies Group's largest subsidiary, Jefferies LLC, was founded in the U.S. in 1962 and its first international operating subsidiary, Jefferies International Limited, was established in the U.K. in 1986. As of November 30, 2019, our Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management segment had 3,815 employees in the Americas, Europe and Asia. The net book value (assets less liabilities and noncontrolling interests) of our Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management segment was $6.2 billion at November 30, 2019.
Investment Banking and Capital Markets

Investment Banking and Capital Markets focuses on Investment Banking, Equities and Fixed Income. We primarily serve institutional investors, corporations and government entities.
Investment Banking
We provide our clients around the world with a full range of financial advisory, equity underwriting and debt underwriting services. Our services are enhanced by our deep industry expertise, our global distribution capabilities and our senior level commitment to our clients.
Over 900 investment banking professionals operate in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and are organized into industry, product and geographic coverage groups. Our industry coverage groups include Consumer and Retail; Energy; Financial Institutions; Healthcare; Industrials; Media, Communications and Information Services; Real Estate; Gaming and Lodging; Technology; and Financial Sponsors and Public Finance. Our product coverage groups include advisory, equity underwriting and debt underwriting, which include both mergers and acquisitions and restructuring and recapitalization expertise. Our geographic coverage groups include teams based in major cities in the United States, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Zurich and Toronto.
Advisory Services

We provide mergers and acquisition and restructuring and recapitalization services to companies, financial sponsors and government
entities. In the mergers and acquisition area, we advise business owners and corporations on corporate sales and divestitures, acquisitions, mergers, tender offers, spinoffs, joint ventures, strategic alliances and takeover and proxy fight defense. In the restructuring and recapitalization area, we provide companies, bondholders and lenders a full range of restructuring advisory capabilities as well as expertise in the structuring, valuation and placement of securities issued in recapitalizations.
Equity Underwriting
We provide a broad range of equity financing capabilities to companies and financial sponsors. These capabilities include private placements of equity, initial public offerings, follow-on offerings, block trades and equity-linked convertible securities transactions.
Debt Underwriting
We provide a wide range of debt and acquisition financing capabilities for companies, financial sponsors and government entities. We focus on structuring, underwriting and distributing public and private debt, including investment grade debt, high yield bonds, leveraged loans, municipal debt, mortgage-backed and other asset-backed securities, and liability management solutions.
Corporate Lending
Jefferies Finance LLC ("Jefferies Finance"), a 50/50 joint venture between Jefferies Group and Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, is a commercial finance company that structures, underwrites and syndicates primarily senior secured loans to corporate borrowers and manages proprietary and third-party investments in middle market and broadly syndicated loans. Since its inception in 2004, Jefferies Finance has served as lead arranger of over 1,000 transactions representing approximately $215 billion in arranged volume. Jefferies Finance conducts its operations primarily through two business lines, Leveraged Finance Arrangement and Portfolio and Asset Management. Its Leveraged Finance Arrangement business line participates in transactions typically ranging from $250 million to $1.5 billion for borrowers generating between $50 million and $300 million of annual Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. Jefferies Finance typically syndicates to third party investors substantially all of its arranged volume. Its Portfolio and Asset Management business line manages a broad portfolio of approximately $9.5 billion in

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assets under management comprised of portions of loans it has arranged, as well as loan positions that it has purchased in the primary and secondary markets. The Portfolio and Asset Management business is comprised of three registered Investment Advisers: Jefferies Finance, Apex Credit Partners LLC and JFIN Asset Management LLC. Jefferies Finance manages its investments in cash flow and traditional asset-based revolving credit. Apex Credit Partners LLC manages collateralized loan obligations which invest in predominately broadly syndicated loans. JFIN Asset Management LLC manages proprietary and third-party investments in middle market loans held in private funds and separately managed accounts. Jefferies Finance is pursuing opportunities to expand its direct lending business through a variety of forms, including regulated and non-regulated entities and separately managed accounts.
Equities
Equities Research, Capital Markets
We provide our clients full-service equities research, sales and trading capabilities across global securities markets. We earn commissions or spread revenue by executing, settling and clearing transactions for clients across these markets in equity and equity-related products, including common stock, American depository receipts, global depository receipts, exchange-traded funds, exchange-traded and over-the-counter ("OTC") equity derivatives, convertible and other equity-linked products and closed-end funds. Our equity research, sales and trading efforts are organized across three geographical regions: the Americas; Europe and the Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific. Our clients are primarily institutional market participants such as mutual funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, pension and profit sharing plans, and insurance companies. Through our global research team and sales force, we maintain relationships with our clients, distribute investment research and strategy, trading ideas, market information and analyses across a range of industries and receive and execute client orders. Our equity research covers over 2,000 companies around the world and a further more than 800 companies are covered by nine leading local firms in Asia Pacific with which we maintain alliances.
Equity Finance
Our Equity Finance business provides financing, securities lending and other prime brokerage services. We offer prime brokerage services in the U.S. that provide hedge funds, money managers and registered investment advisers with execution, financing, clearing, reporting and administrative services. We finance our clients' securities positions through margin loans that are collateralized by securities, cash or other acceptable liquid collateral. We earn an interest spread equal to the difference between the amount we pay for funds and the amount we receive from our clients. We also operate a matched book in equity and corporate bond securities, whereby we borrow and lend securities versus cash or liquid collateral and earn a net interest spread. We offer selected prime brokerage clients the option of custodying their assets at an unaffiliated U.S. broker-dealer that is a subsidiary of a bank holding company. Under this arrangement, we directly provide our clients with all customary prime brokerage services.
Wealth Management
We provide tailored wealth management services designed to meet the needs of high net worth individuals, their families and their businesses, private equity and venture funds and small institutions. Our advisers provide access to all of our institutional execution capabilities and deliver other financial services. Our open architecture platform affords clients access to products and services from both our firm and from a variety of other major financial services institutions.
Fixed Income
Fixed Income Capital Markets
We provide our clients with sales and trading of investment grade corporate bonds, U.S. and European government and agency securities, municipal bonds, mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, leveraged loans, consumer loans, high yield and distressed securities, emerging markets debt, interest rate and credit derivative products, as well as foreign exchange trade execution and securitization capabilities. Jefferies LLC is designated as a Primary Dealer by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Jefferies International Limited is designated in similar capacities for several countries in Europe. Additionally, through the use of repurchase agreements, we act as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders of short-term funds and obtain funding for various of our inventory positions. We trade and make markets globally in cleared and uncleared swaps and forwards referencing, among other things, interest rates, investment grade and non-investment grade corporate credits, credit indexes and asset-backed security indexes.

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Our strategists and economists provide ongoing commentary and analysis of the global fixed income markets. In addition, our fixed income desk strategists provide ideas and analysis to clients across a variety of fixed income products.
Other
We also make principal investments in private equity and hedge funds managed by third parties as well as, from time to time, take on strategic positions.
Berkadia
On October 1, 2018, we transferred to Jefferies Group our investment in Berkadia. Berkadia is a 50/50 joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. that provides capital solutions, investments sales advisory and mortgage servicing for multifamily and commercial real estate. Berkadia originates commercial real estate loans, primarily in respect of multifamily housing units, for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Authority using their underwriting guidelines and will typically sell the loans to such entities shortly after the loans are funded with Berkadia retaining the mortgage servicing rights. For loans sold to Fannie Mae, Berkadia assumes a shared loss position throughout the term of each loan, with a maximum loss percentage of approximately one-third of the original principal balance. Berkadia also originates and brokers commercial/multifamily mortgage loans which are not part of the government agency programs.
In addition, Berkadia originates loans for its own balance sheet. These loans provide interim financing to borrowers who intend to refinance the loan with longer-term loans from an eligible government agency or other third party. Berkadia also provides services related to the acquisition and disposition of multifamily real estate projects, including brokerage services, asset review, market research, financial analysis and due diligence support and is a servicer of U.S. commercial real estate loans, performing primary, master and special servicing functions for U.S. government agency programs, commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Berkadia is required under its servicing agreements to maintain certain minimum servicer ratings or qualifications from the ratings agencies. These ratings currently exceed the minimum ratings required by the related servicing agreements.
Asset Management
Under the LAM umbrella, we manage, invest in and provide services to a diverse group of alternative asset management platforms across a spectrum of investment strategies and asset classes. LAM offers institutional clients an innovative range of investment strategies through its affiliated managers. Our products are currently offered to pension funds, insurance companies, sovereign wealth funds, and other institutional investors. The investment boutiques under LAM range from multi-manager products, such as Schonfeld Fundamental Equities and Weiss Multi-Strategy, to niche equity long/short strategies, such as Pendeen Asset Management and Sikra Capital. We offer our affiliated asset managers access to capital, operational infrastructure and global marketing and distribution.

We continue to expand our asset management efforts. During 2019, we established a partnership with Schonfeld Strategic Advisors LLC, launched Stonyrock Partners (middle market general partner stakes) and Point Bonita Capital (trade finance), and added Solanas Capital (energy infrastructure with an environmental, social and governance focus) to our LAM platform.
Competition
All aspects of our business are intensely competitive. We compete primarily with large global bank holding companies that engage in capital markets activities, but also with other broker-dealers, asset managers and investment banking firms. The large global bank holding companies have substantially greater capital and resources than we do. We believe that the principal factors affecting our competitive standing include the quality, experience and skills of our professionals, the depth of our relationships, the breadth of our service offerings, our ability to deliver consistently our integrated capabilities, and our culture, tenacity and commitment to serve our clients.

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Regulation
Regulation in the United States. The financial services industry in which our Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management segment operates is subject to extensive regulation. In the U.S., the SEC is the federal agency responsible for the administration of federal securities laws, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") is the federal agency responsible for the administration of laws relating to commodity interests (including futures, commodity options and swaps). In addition, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. ("FINRA") and the National Futures Association ("NFA") are self-regulatory organizations that are actively involved in the regulation of financial services businesses. In addition to federal regulation, our Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management segment is subject to state securities regulations in each state in which we offer our securities. The SEC, CFTC, FINRA and the NFA conduct periodic examinations of broker-dealers, investment advisers, futures commission merchants ("FCMs") and swap dealers. The designated examining authority for Jefferies LLC's activities as a broker-dealer is FINRA, and the designated self-regulatory organization for Jefferies LLC's non-clearing FCM activities is the NFA. Financial services businesses are also subject to regulation and examination by state securities commissions and attorneys general in those states in which they do business.
Broker-dealers are subject to SEC and FINRA regulations that cover all aspects of the securities business, including sales and trading methods, trade practices among broker-dealers, use and safekeeping of customers' funds and securities, capital structure and requirements, anti-money laundering efforts, recordkeeping and the conduct of broker-dealer personnel including officers and employees. Registered investment advisers are subject to, among other requirements, SEC regulations concerning marketing, transactions with affiliates, custody of client assets, disclosure to clients, conflict of interest, insider trading and recordkeeping; and investment advisers that are also registered as commodity trading advisers or commodity pool operators are also subject to regulation by the CFTC and the NFA. FCMs, introducing brokers and swap dealers that engage in commodity options, futures or swap transactions are subject to regulation by the CFTC and the NFA. Additional legislation, changes in rules promulgated by the SEC, CFTC, FINRA or NFA, or changes in the interpretation or enforcement of existing laws or rules may directly affect the operations and profitability of broker-dealers, investment advisers, FCMs, commodity trading advisers, commodity pool operators and swap dealers. The SEC, CFTC, FINRA, NFA, state securities commissions and state attorneys general may conduct administrative proceedings or initiate civil litigation that can result in adverse consequences for Jefferies LLC, its affiliates, including affiliated investment advisers, as well as its and their officers and employees (including, without limitation, injunctions, censures, fines, suspensions, directives that impact business operations (including proposed expansions), membership expulsions, or revocations of licenses and registrations). In addition, broker-dealers, investment advisers, FCMs and swap dealers must also comply with the rules and regulation of clearing houses, exchanges, swap execution facilities and trading platforms of which they are a member.
On June 5, 2019, the SEC adopted Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”), which establishes a “best interest” standard of conduct for broker-dealers and associated persons when they make a recommendation to a retail customer of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities, including recommendations of types of accounts. While we do not generally make recommendations to retail customers except in our Wealth Management division, our Wealth Management division will be required to comply with the substantially greater obligations imposed under Reg BI.
Regulatory Capital Requirements. Several of our Investment Banking, Capital Markets and Asset Management segment entities are subject to financial capital requirements that are set by regulation. Jefferies LLC is a dually-registered broker-dealer and FCM and is required to maintain net capital in excess of the greater of the SEC or CFTC minimum financial requirements. As a broker-dealer, Jefferies LLC is subject to the SEC's Uniform Net Capital Rule (the "Net Capital Rule"). Jefferies LLC has elected to compute its minimum net capital requirement in accordance with the "Alternative Net Capital Requirement" as permitted by the Net Capital Rule, which provides that a broker-dealer shall not permit its net capital, as defined, to be less than the greater of 2% of its aggregate debit balances (primarily customer-related receivables) or $250,000 ($1.5 million for prime brokers). Compliance with the Net Capital Rule could limit Jefferies LLC's operations, such as underwriting and trading activities, that could require the use of significant amounts of capital, and may also restrict its ability to make loans, advances, dividends and other payments. Under FINRA Rule 4110, FINRA could impose higher minimum net capital requirements than required by the SEC. If the broker dealer also carries accounts for other broker dealers, it may need net capital of $7 million or tentative net capital of $25 million, depending on circumstances. As a non-clearing FCM, Jefferies LLC is required to maintain minimum adjusted net capital of $1.0 million.
In June 2019, the SEC adopted rules regarding capital, segregation and margin requirements for SEC registered broker-dealers that engage in principal transactions of security-based swaps ("SBS"). The rules will come into effect in 2020 or 2021. Under the rules there is a minimum net capital requirement for, among others, a broker-dealer that acts as a dealer in SBS of the greater of $20 million or the sum of (i) a ratio requirement (2% of aggregate debit items (generally, customer receivables)) and (ii) 2% (that the SEC could, in the future, increase up to 4% or 8%) of a risk margin amount. The risk margin amount means the sum of (i) the total initial margin required to be maintained by the broker-dealer at each clearing agency with respect to SBS transactions cleared

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for SBS customers and (ii) the total initial margin amount calculated by the broker-dealer with respect to non-cleared SBS under new SEC rules.
Jefferies Group LLC is not subject to any regulatory capital rules.
See Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, and Note 24 to our consolidated financial statements for additional discussion of net capital calculations.
Regulation