Found via the Corner of Berkshire & Fairfax.
Five years after the fall, Lehman Brothers no longer evokes the intense public anger it did in the weeks after the crash, when Fuld was hauled before Congress and made to answer for the firm’s demise. “If you haven’t discovered your role,” Republican Representative John Mica of Florida told him, “you’re the villain.” Most of the company’s top executives found lucrative jobs elsewhere on Wall Street. Many went to work for Barclays (BCS), which bought much of Lehman’s U.S. banking business out of bankruptcy. Lehman’s president, Bart McDade, and a top trader, Alex Kirk, founded investment firm River Birch Capital. George Walker, who ran Neuberger Berman, Lehman’s wealth management division, has continued to do so, thriving since the firm became independent. “I certainly don’t think there’s any Lehman hangover on the individuals themselves,” says Robert Wolf, the former chairman and CEO of UBS Americas (UBS).
Fuld is an exception. After the bankruptcy, he stayed on to help Alvarez & Marsal, the advisory firm in charge of sorting out the mess. Then he struck out on his own. In 2009 he founded Matrix Advisors, a consulting firm for mergers and acquisitions. In a regulatory filing, Fuld reported that he works more than 60 hours a week there. He renewed his securities license through a small broker-dealer, Legend Securities, run by a friend, and even underwent a medical exam for his student pilot’s certificate. Famously driven, Fuld gave every sign that he meant to put the Lehman nightmare behind him.
According to associates of Fuld’s, he pitched deals to Steve Schwarzman at Blackstone Group (BX) and Henry Kravis at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), as well as top executives at BlackRock (BLK); tried with a buyer to arrange the purchase of OnStar from General Motors (GM); sought to interest investors in a consulting firm he hoped to launch; and did advisory work at IBM (IBM) for his friend Samuel Palmisano, then chairman and CEO. He’s also given free advice to Spring Hill Capital Partners, a merchant bank founded after the collapse by a former Lehman managing director. Yet in interviews with Lehman veterans, Wall Street colleagues, securities lawyers, and assorted friends and enemies, no one could name a significant Fuld success in the last five years—and most were curious to hear what he’d been doing.