Three weeks after confirming it was in acquisition negotiations, Lehman Brothers signed an agreement Monday to acquire 100% of wealth manager Neuberger Berman for a total price of $2.63 billion in cash and Lehman stock. Neuberger, which manages 29 open-end mutual funds in addition to $24 billion for wealthy investors, will become part of Lehman Brothers’ Client Services Wealth and Asset Management Business, and will retain the Neuberger moniker.

Lehman Brothers, best known for its investment banking, securities underwriting and private client services is anxious to bolster its asset management capabilities, diversify its business revenue and offer its clients access to Neuberger Berman’s array of products, services, and asset management expertise, said Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Lehman Brothers chairman and CEO, in a teleconference Tuesday.

The merger brings Neuberger access to Lehman’s lineup of capital market products, and alternative investments for its clients. But more importantly, the deal allows Neuberger, for the first time, to expand beyond its U.S client base and tap into Lehman’s international clients.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter, pending necessary regulatory approval.

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