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Rating:A 'Boring' Fund Firm Returns to Independence Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Friday, May 01, 2009

A 'Boring' Fund Firm Returns to Independence

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Neuberger Berman is returning to life as an independent company as early as today, but don't expect strategic changes or product rollouts, at least in the near future.

"We're going to be boring for a while," Neuberger Berman chairman and CEO George Walker told the Wall Street Journal's Shefali Anand in an interview published in the Friday edition of the Fund Track column.

Neuberger's focus, he said, will be on delivering performance for clients.

In December, a group of Neuberger managers and senior employees emerged as the winning bidder for the Lehman Brothers unit, beating an earlier offer by private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.

Neuberger's common equity will be 51 percent-owned by roughly 200 of its 1,700 workers. The remainder will be owned by Lehman's estate, administered by restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal.

In the article, Anand noted that since September, Neuberger lost a third of its assets. It ended March with $155 billion. Walker told Anand that Neuberger is "solidly profitable" at the current market levels.

Meanwhile, a Neuberger spokesperson told The MFWire that contrary to what was reported in the Fund Track column, Neuberger is not under pressure to repay more than $800 million of perpetual preferred stock it had issued to Lehman's estate.

"The preferred shares are equity, not debt, and can be adjusted to reflect market conditions," the spokesperson said. "There is no pressure to repay preferred stock."  

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