SEC Filing Confirms Lehman and Neuberger Merger Talks

July 2, 2003 ( - An 8-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) confirms that Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is in merger discussions with Neuberger Berman Inc.

The recent filling confirms earlier rumors that the two companies were in preliminary merger talks.   As recently as Friday, Neuberger Berman confirmed the preliminary merger discussions, but refused to identify the other party, according to an Associated Press report.

While the rumors have at least been confirmed, the 8-K filing did not provide any details regarding terms.

Neuberger Berman, a New York money management firm with approximately $56.3 billion under management, provides clients with a range of investment products, services and strategies including private asset management, wealth management, tax planning, personal trust services, mutual funds and professional securities services for various organizations.    The firm made headlines last December for its coup in building a new Growth Equity Group by hiring away a team of portfolio managers from Northern Trust (See  Neuberger Berman Lures Away Northern Trust Equity Unit ).  Then in April, the Hartford Group unveiled a new program in conjunction with Neuberger Berman, where the asset manager would take on the role of an investment advice fiduciary in assisting plan sponsors in researching, selecting and monitoring of plan investments (See  Hartford Taps Asset Manager for Advisory Service ).

Lehman Brothers, a New York-based financial services company, currently offers investment and merchant banking services.    However, the acquisition of an asset-management firm would propel Lehman beyond its traditional bond and underwriting businesses, which the firm has been criticized for relying too heavily on.   For its part, Lehman Brothers said the potential merger would significantly increase its high-margin high net worth and asset management businesses.