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Rating:An Acquisitive Gotham Asset Manager Sells Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Wednesday, March 08, 2017

An Acquisitive Gotham Asset Manager Sells

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

An acquisitive asset manager with $1.48 billion in AUM and with Wall Street roots going back 92 years is selling to a nearby specialty broker-dealer and recent entrant into the asset management business.

Alex Lebenthal
Lebenthal Holdings
Co-CEO
Jim Tabacchi, president and CEO of privately-held, New York City-based South Street Securities Holdings, confirms that his B-D has agreed to buy Lebenthal Asset Management (also based in NYC) from Lebenthal Holdings. South Street, founded in 2004, specializes in the repo (repurchase agreement) market for short-term loans.

The pricing and terms of the deal were not disclosed.

South Street is buying 100 percent of LAM and one sister company, Lebenthal Family Office, as well as a 49-percent stake in a second sister company, Lebenthal & Co, a B-D that specializes in underwriting and capital markets. Gordian Group advised Lebenthal on the deal, while Pi Capital International advised South Street. Alex Lebenthal serves as CEO of Lebenthal Holdings and will keep the remaining 51 percent of Lebenthal & Co. Her brother, Jim Lebenthal, is CEO of LAM. Expect Tabacchi and the Lebenthals to put a big focus on growing their asset management business.

"We did start an asset management business here [called South Street Asset Management] ... We did dip our toes in the water," Tabacchi tells MFWire. "It pales in comparison with what Jimmy Lebenthal is running."

"The asset management business that Jimmy runs is very attractive to us," Tabacchi adds. "We're looking forward to working with him to grow that business."

The deal will help Alex Lebenthal deal with outstanding debts, the Wall Street Journal reports, such as the $439,000 that former Bear Stearns chief Jimmy Cayne is suing over.

"They've had a little bit of a tough road the last year or so," Tabacchi says of the brother and sister duo of Jim and Alex Lebenthal. "They've proved to be very capable executives that have kept their teams together. They will make good partners, and I'm looking forward to working with them to grow the business."

Word is that Alex and Jim Lebenthal will stay on after the deal, and Tabacchi tells the WSJ that "just about everybody" at Lebenthal will stay on, too, 44 people or so in total.

"No real decisions have been made in terms of changing product groups or anything just yet," in terms of how to combine the Lebenthal companies in with South Street, Tabacchi says.

LAM offers a variety of fixed income and equity strategies. The South Street deal comes two years after LAM bought a minority stake in the mutual fund shop now known as Lebenthal Lisanti Capital Growth, which is majority-owned and led by Mary Lisanti, and one-year after LAM bought the assets of mutual fund subadvisor and separate account shop Griffin Asset Management. 

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