Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers - Neuberger Berman

Neuberger Berman

Neuberger Berman Inc., through its subsidiaries, primarily Neuberger Berman, LLC, is an investment-advisory firm founded in 1939 by Roy R. Neuberger and Robert Berman, to manage money for high-net-worth individuals. In the decades that followed, the firm's growth mirrored that of the asset-management industry as a whole. In 1950, it introduced one of the first no-load mutual funds in the United States, the Guardian Fund, and also began to manage the assets of pension plans and other institutions. Historically known for its value-investing style, in the 1990s the firm began to diversify its competencies to include additional value and growth investing, across the entire capitalization spectrum, as well as new investment categories, such as international, real-estate investment trusts and high-yield investments. In addition, with the creation of a nationally and several state-chartered trust companies, the firm became able to offer trust and fiduciary services. Today the firm has approximately $130 billion in assets under management.

In October 1999, the firm conducted an initial public offering of its shares and commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol "NEU". In July 2003, shortly after the retired Mr. Neuberger's 100th birthday, the company announced that it was in merger discussions with Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. These discussions ultimately resulted in the firm's acquisition by Lehman on October 31, 2003, for approximately $2.63 billion in cash and securities.

On November 20, 2006, Lehman announced its Neuberger Berman subsidiary would acquire H. A. Schupf & Co., a money-management firm targeted at wealthy individuals. Its $2.5 billion of assets would join Neuberger's $50 billion in high-net-worth client assets under management.

An article in The Wall Street Journal on September 15, 2008, announcing that Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, quoted Lehman officials regarding Neuberger Berman: "Neuberger Berman LLC and Lehman Brothers Asset Management will continue to conduct business as usual and will not be subject to the bankruptcy case of the parent company, and its portfolio management, research and operating functions remain intact. In addition, fully paid securities of customers of Neuberger Berman are segregated from the assets of Lehman Brothers and aren't subject to the claims of Lehman Brothers Holdings' creditors, Lehman said."

Just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, executives at Neuberger Berman sent e-mail memos suggesting, among other things, that the Lehman Brothers' top people forgo multi-million dollar bonuses to "send a strong message to both employees and investors that management is not shirking accountability for recent performance."

Lehman Brothers Investment Management Director George Herbert Walker IV dismissed the proposal, going so far as to actually apologize to other members of the Lehman Brothers executive committee for the idea of bonus reduction having been suggested. He wrote, "Sorry team. I am not sure what's in the water at Neuberger Berman. I'm embarrassed and I apologize."

Read more about this topic:  Bankruptcy Of Lehman Brothers

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