Fair Winds Ahead

In: Business and Management

Submitted By gpjames
Words 2436
Pages 10
Barron's Cover | SATURDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2012
Fair Winds Ahead
By MICHAEL SANTOLI | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Superior performance has helped Neuberger Berman survive and thrive since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Neuberger Berman was knocked around more than most asset managers in the treacherous seas of the 2008 financial crisis. The 73-year-old firm had only recently been lashed to Lehman Brothers when the investment bank foundered and ultimately failed. Buyout firms proposed a lifeline, but they fell short as the financial crisis deepened, leaving Neuberger's leaders to improvise an employee buyout during the most punishing financing environment in memory.
Yet, four years later, Neuberger is freshly invigorated and focused on the essentials in the way disaster survivors tend to be. Its business is in sturdy condition, its fund performance is outpacing most peers and its strong investment culture has been affirmed.
If the new Neuberger is in some ways "a $200 billion start-up," as one executive characterizes it, it is also one of the country's premier and most deeply rooted asset managers. Roy Neuberger, a founding partner and guiding force of the firm, died just two years ago, at the age of 107. Until he was nearly 100, he came into the office every day.
For all the drama Neuberger has undergone in the past 15 years -- going public in 1999 after 60 years as a partnership, being absorbed by Lehman in 2003 and then set adrift five years later -- Neuberger is in some ways now much closer to the firm that Roy Neuberger ran than it has been in years, with its focus squarely on its client base, and not on the demands of a parent company or public shareholders.
"Our mission is totally different as part of an employee-controlled partnership," than it was as a subsidiary of a bulge-bracket investment bank, says Neuberger Chief Executive George Walker. The 43-year-old…...

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