Jefferies CEO Claims He Tried To Meet With Sam Bankman-Fried In July But Never Got A Response

Jefferies Financial Group (JFG) CEO Richard Handler says that he tried to reach out to FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried as early as July but never got a response. (Sidenote: the names of these guys.)

Handler on Wednesday posted a thread of what he says are emails about trying to get in touch with Bankman-Fried, also known as SBF, prior to the collapse of FTX, crypto’s most recent casualty.

On July 7, Handler asked a contact whose name has been redacted to reach out to SBF for a meeting to offer JFG’s services — saying that the young CEO is “in over his head” and “could quickly be in a precarious position.” 

Handler didn’t discuss what event precipitated his concern or opened up the opportunity for “a relationship,” but it was around this time when rumors swirled that Bahamas-based FTX was considering acquiring Robinhood, which had started having cash flow problems. SBF had earlier in the year bought a 7.6% passive stake in Robinhood, which further fanned the flames of the rumor mill.

The line about quickly becoming the “rescuee versus the rescuer if you are not careful” suggests that this was about the Robinhood acquisition rumors.

The contact, who claimed that they were in touch with SBF and had exchanged emails recently, said that they will send the FTX CEO a note and look into “parlay[ing] it into a broader discussion.” The contact also said that SBF is a creditor on a deal with the restructuring team. 

Nothing came out of this early exchange, presumably because SBF wasn’t yet in trouble. At least not publicly. FTX, which is a privately-held exchange, was touting financials that showed 1000% growth around this time.

And then in September, Handler, who was in the Bahamas for a separate meeting, tried again. The email exchange, with the subject “long shot,” proved to be another futile attempt at getting in touch with SBF. This came to be his final attempt.

Now one can’t help but ask — would it have changed anything for FTX and its investors if Handler just slid into SBF’s Twitter DMs?

Information for this briefing was found via Twitter and the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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