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Lehman Brothers surrenders broking licence in India

Sachin P Mampatta  |  Mumbai 

Lehman Brothers

Nearly seven years after its collapse marked a catastrophic turn in an unfolding global financial crises, Lehman Brothers still retained the right to trade in Indian securities.

On Wednesday, though, it surrendered its final broking membership, on the National Stock Exchange.

Lehman was founded in 1850. It started with Henry Lehman, who immigrated from Germany to America in 1844. He opened a small general store in the city of Montgomery in Alabama the same year. His brothers, Emanuel and Mayer, joined him six years later and they named their venture Lehman Brothers. The firm grew to be one of the largest financial companies in the world.

Lehman’s final trade was on September 24, 2008. It had announced it would file for bankruptcy at the beginning of the week starting September 15, 2008. The BSE’s Sensex had closed at 14,000.81 on a Friday and fell nearly 500 points to close at 13,531.27 on the Monday the Lehman bankruptcy was declared. In the next six months, it fell an additional 5,000 points. The lowest point was on March 9, 2009, closing at 8,160.4.

Nomura, the Japanese financial services company, later acquired the India operations of Lehman. The buyout included Nomura’s technology division and its high-velocity trading engine, besides its broking and structured finance companies. The companies included Lehman Brothers Services India Pvt Ltd, Lehman Brothers Financial Services (India) Pvt Ltd and Lehman Brothers Structured Finance Services Pvt Ltd. It absorbed around 2,900 employees, according to a Nomura presentation made at the time.

An information form filled by Lehman earlier showed memberships in the BSE and National Stock Exchange (NSE), and a merchant banking licence. The BSE license was surrendered in 2013. A check of regulatory records show no registered Lehman Brothers’ merchant banker. The NSE circular wiped the last of the Lehman name in India.

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First Published: Thu, June 11 2015. 22:46 IST