Lehman Boss Richard S. Fuld - Did You Know ?

As Lehman Brothers has enjoyed another excellent year, CityNews thought that we'd have a brief look at firm CEO Richard Fuld.

Richard Fuld was born on April 26th, 1946, in New York City, New York. 

He gained his BA at the University of Colorado, and his MBA at New York Stern School of Business.

He joined Lehman in 1969 as a commercial-paper trader and gained his reputation running Lehman's fixed-income business. By the age of 37 he was looking after both fixed income and equities, and overseeing all trading activities at the firm.

Fuld was known to be a man of few words. His interactions with colleagues were said to be fairly limited. When he did speak, he often did so in monosyllables. Fuld was famously described in Ken Auletta's 1987 book, 'Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman' as 'the digital mind trader, someone who spent so much time in front of his green screen or making rat-tat-tat decisions that he was no longer human'.

The Lehman boss was described by a firm partner in a 1992 edition of 'Investment Dealer's Digest' as 'a very smart guy, tough as nails'. 'Fortune' magazine reported on his notorious temper in 1995, saying that it had earned him the nickname 'gorilla'. 

Continuing to rise up the ranks, Lehman was acquired by, and then regained its independence from, American Express. By 1994 the firm was in turmoil. Fuld's fixed-income department was the only division making significant contributions to the bottom line. In 1994 Fuld made chairman and CEO, and then the firm's fortunes rebounded, as the boss moved the firm into more diverse product areas and away from just fixed income.

The rest is history. Lehman is now one of the most profitable firms on Wall Street, operating just below 'bulge-bracket' level. 2004 and 2005 were record years in terms of profit for the firm. Fuld has made countless staff millionaires over the years. And the staff, in fact, own a lot of the firm. In 1994 employees owned 4%, but this had increased to 35% just 10 years later.

In January 2004, 'Insitutional Investor' ranked Fuld 1st in its annual Best CEOs in America survey, in the Brokers and Asset Managers category.

In investment banking, often only the strong survive. And they don't come much stronger or tougher than Richard Fuld.

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