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Lehman Continues to Restructure

Lehman Brothers continues to see upheaval in its global markets business as the bank struggles against market gossip, sub-prime writedowns and a falling share price. But it has not all been bad news for the bank and there are signs that a new management team put in place in early Q2 2008 is starting to turn things around – at least on the staffing front.

Not only has the bank managed to lure back its former head of fixed income but it has also added to its businesses in Asia.

Michael Gelband has rejoined Lehman as global head of capital markets little more than a year after he resigned following reported disagreements with senior management over how to drive the firm’s fixed income business forward.

As global head of fixed income, Gelband’s oversight included interest rate products, foreign exchange and securitised products when he left Lehman in May 2007, to be succeeded by Roger Naggiof. Reflecting the turmoil the firm has found itself in since the sub-prime crisis hit, Naggiof only held the post for nine months before being succeeded by Andrew Morton in February 2008.

Gelband’s appointment is one of four announced by Lehman as it seeks to rebuild confidence in its business following a string of quarterly losses that have raised concerns about the bank’s financial strength. Also rejoining the bank is Alex Kirk, who assumes the role of global head of principal investing. He left Lehman earlier this year, resigning from his role as co-chief operating officer of fixed income and global head of credit products.

As part of the changes, Lehman has appointed Dave Goldfarb as chief strategy officer and Gerald Donini as global head of equities. All four appointees report to Herbert McDade, president and chief operating officer, who was himself appointed earlier this month.

…Hires in Asia

In Asia, Lehman has moved to build its research capabilities with the appointment of Simon Flint as head of FX strategy, Asia excluding-Japan. In a newly created role, Flint will lead the expansion of the firm’s Asian foreign exchange strategy, enhancing research coverage for clients in Asian currencies.

Flint will report locally to Dr. Hua He, head of equity and fixed income research, Asia-Pacific, and globally to Jim McCormick, global head of FX strategy. Flint joins Lehman from Merrill Lynch, Singapore, where he was head of global FX strategy, and prior to that served as head of emerging Asia, FX, fixed income and sovereign strategy. Before Merrill, he served as senior markets strategist, Asia, at Bank of America in Singapore.

“The creation of an FX strategy capability in Singapore demonstrates our commitment to building a strong team to cover this fast-growing market,” says McCormick.

The bank has also appointed John Goff as its Hong Kong-based head of corporate structuring, and Samir Bhandari as its Singapore-based head of fixed income corporate sales. Both are newly created roles covering Asia-Pacific excluding Japan.

Goff was also previously at Merrill Lynch as a director for rates, foreign exchange and commodities solutions for corporates. Bhandari comes from JP Morgan in Singapore, where he was head of sales for Southeast Asia.

Goff reports to Martin Bertsch, head of capital markets, structured products, Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, while Bhandari reports regionally to David Lam, head of capital markets structured sales, Asia-Pacific ex-Japan, and locally to Jai Rajpal, head of fixed income, Singapore and Southeast Asia.

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