Bear Stearns hires new head of asset management

Jeffrey Lane will replace Richard Marin as head of Bear’s asset management division, which encompasses the investment bank’s private equity arm as well as its newly established placement agent division.

Bear Stearns has hired Jeffrey Lane as chairman and chief executive officer of its asset management division, which includes the firm’s private equity arm, Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, as well as the Bear Stearns Private Funds Group, the international placement agent division established in February.

Before joining Bear Stearns, Lane held a number of roles at Lehman Brothers and Neuberger Berman. At Neuberger, Lane rose to become chief executive officer and chairman. At Lehman, Lane was chairman of the investment management division and co-head of asset management.

Lane will replace Richard Marin, who joined Bear Stearns in 2003 and came under fire for the near-collapse of two of the firm’s hedge funds that invested in subprime mortgage loans.

BSMB is investing its third fund, which closed in August 2006 on $2.7 billion. BSMB invests in middle market companies in the retail, financial services, consumer products and packaging sectors. It recently agreed to acquire a minority stake in Francesca’s Collections, a Houston-based 67-store retailer of women’s apparel, accessories, and gifts, and the acquisition for $712 million of Edina, Minnesota-based Universal Hospital Services, a provider of medical equipment lifecycle services.