Private equity firms Bain Capital Partners and Hellman & Friedman acquired Neuberger Berman Monday for $2.15 billion, with the two firms holding equal positions in Neuberger, the firm’s portfolio managers given a “significant stake” and the deal expected to close early next year.

Joe Amato, head of Neuberger Berman, said: “The portfolio managers across equities, fixed income and alternatives are all energized by the opportunity to reinforce and enhance our already high standards of investment performance and client service, combined with the opportunity to re-establish a direct ownership basis in the business.”

Amato will retain his position but George Walker, formerly global head of investment management at Lehman, Neuberger’s parent company, will become chief executive of Neuberger Berman Investment Management, which will house its mutual funds, fixed income, commodities, wealth management, separately managed accounts, institutional and quantitative investing strategies, with a combined $230 billion of assets under management as of Aug. 31. Merchant banking, real estate, venture capital and private equity will not be part of Neuberger Berman Investment Management.

“We look forward to working with the portfolio managers and management team to grow the business globally and expand the array of products and services offered to clients,” said Phil Loughlin, managing director at Bain.

Allen Thorpe, managing director of Hellman & Friedman, added: “This is a special firm. Each of its businesses—Neuberger Berman equity as well as the fixed income, quantitative and private funds investment groups—has a strong individual performance record. We have also been impressed by their proven ability to work together through first-rate client professionals to design and implement comprehensive solutions for large, sophisticated clients.”

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