Fast Track: A-Z of Employers Lehman Brothers

Age: 148

History: Brothers Henry, Emanuel and Mayer Lehman founded the company in Montgomery, Alabama, as a commodities and trading operation. They soon acquired a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, and more than 100 years later, were bought by American Express, gaining a place on the London Stock Exchange in 1986. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc was formed in August 1993, and six months later, the firm separated from American Express and became a public company.

Address: World headquarters are in the World Financial Centre, New York. European headquarters are in Broadgate, central London, and Asia-Pacific headquarters are in Tokyo.

Ambience: Dynamism and purpose are very evident here and the firm insists on professionalism and competitiveness. Employees wear smart dress except on Friday, when they dress down.

Vital statistics: Last year's net revenues were $3,873 million, with an income of $647 million. The company has around 8,300 employees, with 1,500 based in the UK. There are 39 Lehman Brothers offices worldwide.

Lifestyle: Hours can be from 7am to 7pm. Foreign travel is par for the course, and many employees spend more time on the road than in the office. Extended placements to locations such as Tokyo or Chicago aren't uncommon.

Easy to get into? The firm takes on 60 or 70 graduates each year, from 8,000 applications. Divisions include capital markets, investment banking, technology and finance. High grades in A Levels and GCSEs are a bonus, and a minimum 2.1 degree is required in a subject such as maths, engineering, economics, computer science, physics and politics. Candidates should also be bright, articulate and ambitious, and able to work well in a team. For more details, see the company website at www.lehman.com.

Glittering alumni: The Hon Raymond Seitz, former US Ambassador to the UK, is the firm's vice-chairman; Crown Prince Kyril of Bulgaria works for Lehman's asset management arm, and former employees include Ainsley Harriott.

Pay: Figures were not disclosed, but salaries are "very competitive" and there's no upper limit. Performance counts for all, and there's a package of benefits including health care and a share scheme, plus season ticket loans.

Training: Global training is held in New York; it's classroom-based and lasts for four weeks. There's also an ice-breaking exercise for new recruits in upstate New York. Back in London, there's more training and on-the-job exercises. Sponsorship is also available for MBA study.

Facilities: In London, there is an ice rink right outside head office, and there are discount arrangements at local gyms. There's also a snack bar on the trading floor, plus a 40-foot Christmas tree in the company's atrium during December.

Who's the boss? Bruce Lakefield, a former submarine commander in the US Navy, is chairman of Lehman Brothers in Europe.

Rachelle Thackray

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