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Bank CEO says being bullied profoundly impacted his life

Jefferies' CEO Richard Handler is not your average CEO of an investment bank. The average CEO does not bring his mother to meetings. He does not post Instagram videos of himself helicoptering onto a client's boat to discuss a deal at the weekend. He's not frequently to be seen on Instagram jumping on a mini-trampoline. And he probably has a lifetime of physical prowess - David Solomon was on his college rugby team; Antonio Horta-Osorio (chairman of Credit Suisse) is unusually good at tennis. 

In his latest Instagram outing, Handler says his diminutive stature has had a long term impact on his life. When he started high school, Handler says he was the shortest person there and that he was cut from every sports team and bullied as a result. This, "had a profound impact on my life," said Handler: "It made me tough, empathetic, determined and a fan of the underdog."

Handler doesn't make a direct reference to Jefferies, although the bank has long been the underdog in the world of big-dog banks. In the last year, Jefferies' stock rose 42% in the last year, making Handler a billionaire. Goldman's stock rose 29%; Citi's rose 20%.

In his same Insta episode, Handler explained his ethos ("Be the best person you can be," give everyone the chance to be the best, measure yourself on whether your family and friends like, trust and respect you), and outlined his average day, which involves working alongside exercising, feeding chickens, doing jigsaws and playing Call of Duty with his son.

"I've aligned my work, philanthropy, fun, family and clients and they all blend together so that my time is incredibly efficient," says Handler. "And I'm usually enjoying myself, so it's never really work."

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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