Lehman's Israel operations sold to Barclays

No Israeli employees were fired when the failed US investment bank was taken over.

CEO of Lehman Bros. Israel Len Rosen today held a press conference in which he announced the sale of the local division of Lehman Bros. to Barclays Capital, a unit of the UK's Barclays Bank. Rosen was full of optimism and was in a joking mood as he told reporters that since the collapse of Lehman Bros. and the birth of his son several weeks ago he had lost seven kilos.

Rosen revealed the developments in the local division of Lehman Bros. in the past two months from the day that the bank collapsed through to the announcement of its acquisition by Barclays Capital. "Barclays have hired the entire Israeli staff of Lehman Bros.," he said, "Nobody, with the exception of one of our specialists who has returned home to London, has left the local branch, and it is our intention to get back to our place on the local market.

The acquisition of the investment bank division of Lehman Bros. in Israel is a slightly strange turning point within the context of the partial sale and the break up of Lehman's financial bodies. The Israeli division will now be separated from Lehman's European Division, which formally managed it, and which has now been sold in its entirety to the Japanese bank Nomura. The local division managed its own independent negotiations with Barclays Capital, and has joined up with the North American acquisition process by which Lehmann was sold to Barclays.

Explaining the choice of Barclays, despite offers from other global bodies, Rosen said that it suited the way the Israel office operated. "Most of the companies that we work with are Israeli firms traded in the US, and that activity together with our analysis which originates in the US, will continue to operate as it did in the past."

The major test facing Rosen will be to maintain the division's status as the Israeli market leader.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 28, 2008

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2008

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