LOS ANGELES — Jefferies Group Inc., a Los Angeles institutional broker-dealer, said that it had signed a letter of intent to buy Lawrence Helfant LLC, a floor broker at the New York Stock Exchange, and combine it with its own New York Stock Exchange broker, W&D Securities.

The deal was announced on Sunday and is expected to close this week. The transaction would make the Jefferies subsidiary W&D Securities the fourth-largest broker on the exchange and the biggest independent floor broker, a Jefferies spokesman said. The price of the deal was not disclosed.

The announcement came days after rumors that Jefferies was in talks with San Francisco’s Charles Schwab Corp., which is reportedly looking at ways to bolster its institutional business. But in a prepared statement Monday, Jefferies chief executive John C. Shaw Jr. said the deal for Helfant was “consistent with our strategy of remaining an independent firm serving midcap companies and their investors.”

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.