Neuberger Berman has completed an employee-led buyout of the 70-year-old company, creating one of the world's largest private, independent money managers with approximately $158 billion in assets under management for institutions and individuals.

New York-based Neuberger Berman is now majority-owned by an employee group consisting of portfolio managers and senior professionals of the newly independent company. The firm's previous owner, Lehman Brothers Holdings, retains a minority stake in the company.

Formed in 1939, Neuberger Berman employs approximately 1,600 people, including more than 250 investment professionals, and is a leading provider of global equity, fixed income and alternative investment solutions to institutions and individuals through customised separately managed accounts and funds. Around 50% of the assets are managed in core and specialty fixed income and liquidity portfolios, around 40% in a broad range of equity portfolios, and around 10% in alternative investment products including hedge funds and private equity funds.

Neuberger Berman, which has a small team here in Asia under the leadership of Bradley Okita, is aggressively pursuing more clients in Asia. It operates under the name Neuberger Investment Management Asia, and was previously the investment management division of Lehman Brothers.

Okita, who has more than 20 years experience in the asset management industry, is the Hong Kong-based regional head for Neuberger Berman in Asia outside of Japan. He also serves as a director on the boards of several of the firm's asset management subsidiaries and fund families in Europe and Asia. 

He was previously based in London, where he oversaw international business and product strategy for the firm's asset management business. Prior to joining the firm in 2004, he worked at Morgan Stanley Investment Management for nine years, primarily based in London, responsible for business strategy and product development.

Neuberger Berman's Asia presence includes offices in Hong Kong (its headquarters in the region), India, China (Shanghai) and Australia. The offices in Asia are largely sales and distribution bases for US and European product, but the firm also has origination capabilities in China.