Insurers with capital might have an interest in acquiring a large minority stake in a key Lehman Brothers Inc. asset management unit.
Credit analysts and other industry experts say the main obstacle insurance industry acquirers would face would be finding a way to pay for a stake in the unit, Neuberger Berman, New York, during a time of economic turbulence.
Neuberger Berman is managing about $1.2 billion in assets for wealthy individuals, wealthy families and institutions.
Lehman, New York, which is expecting to report a $3.9 billion third-quarter net loss, said Wednesday it wants to improve its finances by selling part of the unit.
Lehman says it is in advanced talks “with a number of potential partners” that want to buy a stake in Neuberger Berman.
Neuberger Berman would continue to operate under the Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman brands, and clients would continue to have access to all of the capabilities of the firm, Lehman says.
Many financial services companies would prefer to own Neuberger Berman outright, to use the firm to strengthen their own asset management operations, says Joel Levine, a senior vice president with Moody’s Investors Service, New York.
Any insurer taking a minority stake in Neuberger Berman may find that the arrangement would work better as an investment, Levine says.