Dominic Lester: Insights in Investment Banking – Altrum

June 6, 2024

In The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast

The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast
Episode 12 - Dominic Lester, EMEA Head of Investment Banking at Jefferies


Dominic Lester, EMEA Head of Investment Banking at Jefferies, shares insights on investment banking’s evolution and challenges. With 32 years of experience, his leadership focuses on fostering a collaborative culture and delivering value to clients hands-on. He emphasizes adaptability and leadership in navigating cultural diversity and technological advancements like AI. Attracting talent and building cohesive teams are crucial for success, promoting individual capabilities within collective goals. Despite challenges, Lester sees opportunities in evolving work culture and increasing diversity. His journey underscores the importance of blending quantitative and qualitative aspects in investment banking, emphasizing leadership, culture, and adaptability as drivers of success. 

Insight into Dominic Lester’s Career in Investment Banking 

Investment banking is a realm that requires not just a profound understanding of markets and numbers but also a deep appreciation of relationships, culture, and the human element in business transactions. Today, we’re diving deep with Dominic Lester, a figure who has not only shaped but also witnessed the evolution of this intricate industry through his extensive career spanning over 32 years. 

A Blend of Experience and Innovation 

Career Path and Achievements 

Dominic Lester’s journey in investment banking began in a boutique MLA shop called Dylan Reed in New York, before moving to UBS where he spent 20 years honing his skills. He eventually moved to Jefferies in 2010 to lead the TMT division and today, he is the EMEA Head of Investment Banking and the Joint Global Head of Technology at Jefferies in London. 

Leadership Approach 

Under his guidance, Jefferies has not only aimed to secure a position as a top six investment banks but has also shown impressive growth in the region. His approach is multifaceted – focusing on hiring, motivating teams, and fostering a unique culture that prioritizes collaboration and achievement. What stands out about Dominic is his belief in leading from the front, ensuring that he remains hands-on in delivering unmatched value to his clients. 

The Value of Leadership and Adaptability 

Cultural Fluency and Adaptability 

Dominic Lester’s linguistic fluency and international living experiences have endowed him with a ‘cultural chameleon’ persona, enabling him to navigate and bridge diverse cultural backdrops effectively. 

Leadership in Detail 

He shares insights into the art of leadership, emphasizing the importance of seeing both the big picture and the minute details. For Dominic, success in investment banking hinges not just on relationships and business origination but also on an adept understanding of the field’s intricacies. 

The Impact of AI and Technology in Investment Banking 

AI as an Enabler 

Dominic also sheds light on the impactful role of AI and technology in investment banking. His perspective is clear – AI is an enabler rather than a disruptor, potentially enhancing the efficiency and speed at which information is processed and decisions are made. 

Building Cohesive Teams and Attracting Talent 

One of Dominic’s significant roles at Jefferies involves cultivating talent and ensuring effective teamwork. His philosophy is rooted in: 


  • Recognition: Acknowledging and nurturing individual capabilities within a collective goal framework. 
  • Diversification: Promoting a culture where diversified skills harmonize to form a robust team fabric. 
  • Leadership and Strategy: His approach to attracting talent underscores the essence of leadership and strategic positioning of the firm. 
  • Skill and Adaptability: Prioritizing the recruitment of individuals who are not only skilled but also versatile and adaptable, ensuring Jefferies remains a formidable player in the investment banking domain. 

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities 

Facing Industry Challenges 

Reflecting on the challenges investment bankers face today, Dominic highlights the crucial aspect of persistence. He metaphorically compares the journey in this industry to climbing a mountain, where the focus on the destination can mitigate the pain of the ascent. 

Seizing Opportunities 

As for opportunities, Dominic eyes the changing work culture and the increasing diversity within the industry as avenues for leadership to make a significant difference. Acknowledging and embracing these changes can pave the way for a more inclusive, dynamic, and successful investment banking environment. 

Final Thoughts 

Our conversation with Dominic Lester underscores the multifaceted nature of investment banking, melding the quantitative with the qualitative, and the financial with the human. His journey and insights serve not just as a beacon for those navigating this complex industry but also as a testament to the power of leadership, culture, and adaptability in driving success. 

Stay tuned for next week’s episode and check out last week’s with Maria Watts if you haven’t already!


The Investment Banking Leaders Podcast 

Hosted by Peter Nieberg 

Produced by Peter Nieberg and Brett Dayman 

Edited by Natalia Revere