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January 9, 2008

Bear Stearns CEO May Make Way Following First Quarterly Loss

by Stewart Douglas

Story link: Bear Stearns CEO May Make Way Following First Quarterly Loss

Investment bank Bear Stearns’ chief executive James Cayne has announced that he is to step down following the bank’s first quarter loss as a result of its sub-prime exposure, according to sources close to the company that have revealed his position over the matter.

The bank has been thrust into the media spotlight of late with the implosion of two of its hedge funds, before announcing its substantial exposure, of around $2 billion thus far written down, to the collapsed US sub-prime sector.  Now after announcing its first quarterly loss, in relation to its sub-prime exposure, it appears as though the chief executive will take the brunt of the blame.

He will join many other top executives to leave investment banks and equity firms lately as a result of exposure to sub-prime assets, including Stan O’Neal at Merrill Lynch and Chuck Prince at Citigroup in what has been a period of major upheaval for the investment banking industry as a whole.

James Cayne has been chief executive of Bear Stearns since 1993, and is well respected within the company and the industry as an authority on investment banking.  He joined Bear Stearns back in 1969, serving for almost 40 years at the bank over an illustrious career.

It remains to be seen whether he will step down, as some analysts report, over the course of the next few weeks, with rumours suggesting he has already told many of his boardroom colleagues of his intention to vacate post.

Meanwhile, analysts have fired up no obvious candidates for succession to the post, in what has proven a recurring lack of suitability throughout the industry with many notable retiring or losing their jobs in the last few months.

 

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