■ Jefferies, the US bank group, has given a new role to Stephen Ford, one of the stars of the Hoare Govett broking business it bought earlier this year. Ford, who is a highly-rated equities salesman, has been made head of UK mid-market equities, with a brief to bring in new clients to the firm. Ford was widely rumoured to be shunning the move to Jefferies earlier this year but he went eventually before taking a sabbatical in the summer. Now he has negotiated the new position on his return. "We need to win more clients," Ford told City A.M. last night. "We've stabilised 95 per cent of the client base and are now in a powerful position to win over new clients."