One year ago, Bear Stearns was alive, if not exactly well. The Dow Jones industrial average was at 12,145. Lehman Brothers was barely a concern, and John Thain was well on his way to rescuing Merrill Lynch. Bankers had jobs.
Then, over one fateful weekend last March, the Federal Reserve forced Bear Stearns into the hands of J.P. Morgan for just $2 a share, and the great banker exodus of 2008 officially began. Now, of course, the names Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch have basically been retired and Citigroup wishes its stock was worth $2 a share.
The blue chips you can now buy for the price of a bag of potato chips.
Many of the Bear Stearns family, including longtime Bear executive Ace Greenberg, ended up finding jobs at J.P. Morgan. Others are still collecting unemployment. A recent analysis by the Dow Jones publication Financial News found that three-quarters of Bear's most senior bankers left the bank since the acquisition one year ago this week. Of the top 50, only 13 remain at J.P. Morgan.
Here's more on the whereabouts of some of the Bears now:
Jimmy Cayne: Cayne was the chief executive of Bear Stearns for 15 years until months before its collapse, and he personally lost about $1 billion in net worth in it. That hasn't stopped him from enjoying life, however. Today, Cayne "spends his days playing lots of bridge and, according to friends, getting nagged by his wife, or occasionally dining at San Pietro, the New York restaurant that's one of Wall Street's cafeterias," Charlie Gasparino wrote in the Daily Beast earlier this week.
Alan Schwartz: Schwartz took the fateful job as Bear Stearns chief executive in January 2008, which is arguably a tough thing to recover from professionally. According to Financial News, Schwartz is now an independent adviser with offices at Rothschild. He reportedly turned down offers from other banks and buyout firms.
Warren Spector: Spector managed to cash out a lot of his Bear stock when Cayne fired him in mid-2007 for his role overseeing two major hedge funds that collapsed that summer. Spector hasn't landed somewhere new that we can tell, but he is still enjoying competitive bridge and his love of theater. A January bridge column in the New York Times included a smart play by Spector and a Bloomberg story from last August reported that he "danced while drenched amid a crush of people" during a special production of Hair during a downpour in Central Park. It was produced by a company that Spector chairs.
Michael Alix: The former chief risk officer for Bear Stearns wins the "most ironic new job" in our book. In October, he was hired by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to help oversee banks. Keep up the good work, Alix.
Jeff Mayer: The co-head of fixed income at Bear joined J.P. Morgan as vice chairman but left by the end of May. He has since joined UBS as co-head of its global fixed income division.
Craig Overlander: Mayer's partner at the helm of the fixed income division also left J.P. Morgan in May. In September, Wachovia Securities hired him as the new managing director and global head of fixed income.
Tom Marano: The global head of mortgage and asset-backed securities for Bear Stearns, Marano got a new job with an equally scary-sounding title. He joined the private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, which subsequently appointed him chief executive of Residential Capital, the troubled mortgage arm of GMAC.
Josh Weintraub: Marano's partner in crime in mortgage-backed securities at Bear Stearns, Weintraub is also at Cerberus. He sits on ResCap's board.
David Glaser: Co-head of investment banking at Bear Stearns, Glaser has had a nice ride since the implosion. He landed a job as chairman of global M&A at Bank of America last June and was promoted to global deputy head of M&A, financial sponsors, and corporate finance in January.VisitÃÂ Portfolio.comÃÂ for the latest business news and opinion, executive profiles and careers.ÃÂ Portfolio.com© 2007 Condé Nast Inc. All rights reserved.