NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bryan Marsal, currently chief restructuring officer of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc (LEHMQ.PK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), will take over as chief executive of the bankrupt investment bank after the close of business on December 31, a lawyer for the company said in court on Thursday.
At the hearing in U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, the company received approval for a plan to hire about 480 employees and fill out its staff to about 620 workers. Marsal will lead the group, which is tasked with unwinding thousands of derivatives transactions and liquidating the 150-year-old firm.
Marsal, a co-founder of turnaround advisory firm Alvarez & Marsal, will succeed Richard Fuld in the role, Harvey Miller, a lawyer representing Lehman, said at a hearing.
Miller said Lehman's board of directors has approved the change.
As part of a status update to the court, Miller said Lehman has recovered about $3.5 billion for the benefit of the company's creditors.
He also said the company has discovered it needs to analyze about 1 million intercompany derivatives transactions in addition to thousands of external derivatives transactions involving about 8,000 counterparties.
He said the majority of the company's staff will be devoted to unwinding the derivatives trades. The company is hoping to hire ex-Lehman employees with the appropriate expertise for the positions, it said. Lehman expects to pay the employees a combined salary of about $96 million, Miller told the court. They will be eligible for bonuses up to a total of $110 million.
David Goldfarb, Lehman's former chief strategy officer, will be in the group of new hires, Miller said.
Lehman also won approval from U.S. bankruptcy Judge James Peck at the hearing for a transition services agreement with its former Europe unit, which is going through its own administration overseas. The companies need to share information about transactions and systems to execute trades, Miller told the court.
Miller further said that Lehman and its creditors committee are planning to present in January a mutually agreed upon motion to the court to appoint an examiner to probe activities surrounding Lehman's collapse.
Peck also denied a request from bankrupt California developer SunCal Cos to use cash collateral owned by Lehman to obtain bankruptcy financing. Lehman loaned the company about $2.3 billion prior to SunCal's bankruptcy and the developer said it needs to access those funds to move ahead with a $75 million loan from D.E. Shaw Group & Co. Because Lehman is also bankrupt, SunCal said it was in a unique situation where it could not get access to the cash as it would be able to if it had a non-bankrupt lender. Peck said the relief SunCal sought could harm Lehman's claim to the loan and collateral, but that SunCal could refile a more specific request later or try to negotiate something with Lehman.
(Reporting by Emily Chasan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Andre Grenon)
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