Jefferies CEO Handler says he tested positive, isolated for COVID

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FILE PHOTO: People walk outside of Jefferies Financial Group offices in Manhattan, New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jefferies Financial Group Inc Chief Executive Officer Richard Handler said on Instagram on Sunday that he had tested positive for COVID three days after deciding this month to ask Jefferies staff to work from home again.

Handler said he would complete his 10th day of quarantine on Monday. He called the timing of his illness and the work-from-home request “ironic” and said it showed that “none of us truly controls our future.”

On Saturday Handler said in another post that the company is “tentatively shooting for Jan. 17 as return to office date.

Jefferies had asked staff on Dec. 8 to work from home following a spate of COVID-19 cases within the company. The firm also canceled all client parties and most travel plans.

Wall Street banks and investment firms have been more aggressive than other sectors in requiring employees return to offices. Many of those moves have been derailed by the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Handler, in his post on Sunday, thanked the medical profession, companies and government for vaccines and boosters “which enabled me to have brief illness and a speedy recovery.”

(Reporting by David Henry in New York. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

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