Lehman Names New Heads For Europe and Fixed-Income

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Lehman Brothers replaced the heads of its international and fixed-income businesses, as the firm struggles to raise capital and is expected to announce next week a quarterly loss and its fourth mass layoff of 2008.

The latest appointments "are likely to trigger further management changes," according to the Financial Times.

Lehman named Riccardo Banchetti and Christian Meissner as co-chief executives of Europe and the Middle East. They replace Jeremy M. Isaacs, who served as chief executive officer for Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific since 2000. Isaacs is giving up his executive responsibilities and will retire from the firm at the end of this year, Lehman said.

Europe, the Middle East and Asia generated more than half the bank's income of $6 billion in 2007, the FT says.

Lehman also named Eric Felder and Hyung Soon Lee as global co-heads of fixed income. They replace Andrew Morton, who held the position for just six months. Morton "decided to leave the Firm to pursue other interests," Lehman said.

Felder was head of global credit products and municipal finance. Lee was head of capital markets, Asia-Pacific. Lee also has served as head of fixed income, Asia-Pacific and head of high yield distressed trading, Asia.

Banchetti, who has been with Lehman since 1993, was chief executive in Italy and previously headed fixed income sales in Europe. Meissner was head of investment banking in Europe and the Middle East. He joined the firm in 2004 as co-head of investment banking in Germany and Austria.

Issacs' departure was in the cards since June, when he was passed over for the role of company president that was vacated by the ouster of Joe Gregory.

Benoit Savoret, chief operating officer of Europe and the Middle East since May 2007, also is leaving the bank.

"We are making these changes, drawing on our deep bench strength to put new leaders with complementary expertise, outstanding risk management capabilities and excellent operating track records in new responsibilities," said Chief Executive Richard Fuld.

Meanwhile, the firm continues its efforts to raise capital from a variety of sources. In the most recent twist, Korea's top financial regulator voiced skepticism about Korea Development Bank's negotiations about buying a stake in Lehman. According to Monday's Wall Street Journal, Jun Kwang-woo said that, "No matter how good an opportunity this provides, timing and priority is essential in convincing us of its necessity....KDB should be extremely careful in buying Lehman Brothers."

And the Financial Times reports that Royal Bank of Canada considered buying Lehman Brothers in July but decided against it.

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