In a move intended to restore confidence, Bear Stearns has sidelined former asset management head Richard Marin (he remains as an advisor) and has brought in Jeffrey Lane, vice chairman of Lehman, as his replacement.
Ousting Marin was pretty much required, and on paper Lane has the right stuff (Lehman is a serious bond player, Lane had a major asset management role via his earlier tenure at Neuberger & Berman. But some of the comments in the Bloomberg story give me cause for pause:
“He’s not known as a fixer of failed things, but he’ll have some fixing to do,” said Geoffrey Bobroff, a mutual fund industry consultant.
Asset management typically accounts for less than 5 percent of Bear Stearns’s revenue. Lane said he’s used to building up money managers. When he joined Neuberger, the firm had $40 billion under management. Now it has about $135 billion, he said.
“I didn’t come here to unwind an asset-management company,” Lane said. “I came here to grow one. I saw a great opportunity to build on what’s already a successful platform, to create for Bear Stearns an outstanding, diversified asset management company.”
Even if growth is Lane’s objective, you’d think he’d at least acknowledge the need to clean things up first…..