An employee-led buyout of Neuberger Berman Group has been completed, creating what the firm calls “one of the world's biggest independent asset managers.”


Neuberger, originally founded in 1939, has approximately $158 billion in assets under management. The New York-based firm is now majority owned by a group of employees, consisting of portfolio managers and senior professionals, with Lehman Brothers Holdings, the previous owner, still retaining the remainder.


“We are thrilled to begin this new chapter in Neuberger Berman's rich investment history,” said George Walker, chairman and chief executive of the firm. “Our newly independent company offers enduring qualities for all investment seasons: deep experience, solid performance, and a lasting partnership with our clients."


Joseph Amato, the firm's president, added, “We are confident our clients and colleagues will continue to benefit from our distinctive investment culture, intense focus on research, and commitment to client service."

Neuberger managers first bid for and won the right to buy the asset management business in a court-supervised sale in December, a source told sister publication Investment Dealers' Digest.


In September, Bain Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman, two private equity firms, announced plans to buy Neuberger Berman.

Lehman Brothers, which owned Neuberger Berman, filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 15. The brokerage firm's petition was the largest bankruptcy in the history of U.S. corporate failures. Leh-man has more than 100,000 creditors. Its assets totaled $639 billion and liabilities totaled $613 billion when it filed for court protection.

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