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The big business news in today's headlines is that Lehman is now hiring. How is that possible, you ask? The explanation is simple, says Bryan Marsal of restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, which has stepped into the fore to gracefully shutter Lehman's doors. Marsal now stands as Lehman's CEO, and is managing the troops who are busy cleaning out the closets and packing up boxes ? a process that is estimated to cost about $30 million a month, excluding lawyers' and advisers' fees.
Marsal explains that Lehman is now rife with resumes of laid-off finance workers who are looking to keep busy. And what sort of work might that be? Selling off Lehman's remaining assets, maximizing creditor recovery, handling derivatives and real estate holdings -- work that we're told might take up to two years to complete. In Marsal's army are 130 Lehman employees, plus over 200 ex-employees that it has recently recruited back. Also laying in the reins? The now-infamous Dick Fuld. As Marsal graciously put it, "We asked him to stay if he has nowhere better to go," says Mr. Marsal. "He's been very good about making himself available for questions about Lehman assets."
Is Lehman now a "desirable" place to work for these laid-off financiers? Only, really, in the sense that the firm will provide a decent salary and steady work, albeit with a limited life expectancy. It is, however, pretty desirable work for A&M consultants; the consultancy is charging $550 to $850 for its top executives, with incentive fees depending on its recovery for creditors.
It ain't pretty work, but for those consultants in the bankruptcy and restructuring arena, there's surely more to come.
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