Lehman Nabs Marketing Head, Launches Fund –

NEW YORK – On the heels of the appointment of Michael McKeever as head of Lehman Brothers new private equity division, the investment bank recently hired Kevin Newman as managing director and head of marketing for private equity and launched a new private equity fund.

Newman comes to Lehman after six years with the Trust Company of the West, where he was managing director and head of capital markets and financial services marketing groups.

At Lehman, Newman will oversee marketing of the firm’s planned family of private equity funds, including developing new product offerings and raising capital for each vehicle. McKeever said the firm plans to launch funds that target particular industries and regions where Lehman has a solid foothold.

“We took a look at what we’ve been good at, and that is asset management,” McKeever said. “So, we will raise funds where [the firm] has deal flow.”

Prior to joining TCW, Newman spent 15 years as a managing director at Credit Suisse First Boston, where he was co-head of private placements.

Newman said one of his first tasks is to raise Lehman Brothers Communications Partners LP, an early-stage communications fund that will raise as much as $500 million for build-ups in the telecom sector. The bank intends to target a mix of institutions and high-net-worth individuals as limited partners for the fund, much like the $350 million Lehman Brothers Venture Partners LP, which closed this spring. Investments from the fund will support CLEC-like companies with greater business model, as opposed to technology risk.

Outside limited partners will account for approximately 90% of the capital committed to all future private equity funds, McKeever said, while the balance of the funds will come from the firm and employee capital. Earlier this year, the company hired James Peet, formerly of the Chatterjee Group, where he was responsible for sourcing and investments in telecommunications and Internet companies. McKeever previously led Lehman’s media and telecom group.

Future efforts likely will focus on real estate, fixed income, Europe and perhaps Asia.

Lehman’s previous private equity efforts have included several leveraged buyout funds, including the current $2 billion Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking Partners, which has invested this year in two companies, Blount Industries and KirchMedia GmbH & Co., as well as the venture fund, which began as an internal effort in 1996 and was formalized in May.