Former Lehman Brothers banker defends staff reunions
News of gatherings marking a decade since bank’s collapse in 2008 sparked fury
Morning commuters walk past the Lehman Brothers headquarters in New York, on September 16th, 2008.
A former Lehman Brothers banker has hit back at criticism of a reunion of the failed finance firm’s staff, insisting it is a “good time to catch up with old friends”.
News of gatherings in London, New York and Hong Kong – marking a decade since Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 – sparked fury earlier this week, with shadow chancellor John McDonnell branding them “sickening”.
But one ex-Lehman banker, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Press Association: “I don’t know where people get off saying what they have. We loved the bank. The coverage has really missed the point. Some of it has been callous.
“Employees want to commemorate what was an important date in their lives. It was a sad day for us individually. Employees at Lehman had close bonds.”
The banker, who has since taken up employment elsewhere in the industry, added that the reunions will be of varying sizes and across several dates over the coming months.
The industry is gearing up for the 10-year anniversary of Lehman’s demise in September 2008, just over a year after the credit crunch began.
The failure of the US banking giant became one of the most infamous and shocking moments of the crisis, spiralling the credit crunch into full-blown market chaos.
“If you did an internal survey on Wall Street of the best place to work around 2007, Lehman would have been off the charts.
“We were a real team and, to mark the event, it’s a good time to catch up with old friends and colleagues,” the banker, who will attend one of the reunions, added.
The London meeting will take place on September 15 at a secret location, where hundreds of former workers have been invited to share cocktails and canapés. – PA