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Bear Stearns president steps down over hedge funds losses

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Warren J.

Warren J. Spector has resigned as president and co-chief operating officer and as a member of the executive committee and board of directors at Bear Stearns, becoming the most significant casualty of the problems faced by three hedge funds managed by the company as a result of the growing meltdown of US mortgage-backed securities.

Alan D. Schwartz has been named as the company’s sole president, while Samuel L. Molinaro will become chief operating officer in addition to his current duties as chief financial officer. Jeffrey Mayer, co-head of the fixed income division, has been named to the Bear Stearns executive committee.

Schwartz joined Bear Stearns in 1976, becoming executive vice-president and head of the investment banking division in 1985 and president and co-chief operating officer in June 2001. Molinaro, an executive vice-president, joined the company in 1986, becoming chief financial officer in 1996 and a member of the executive committee in 2002.

Mayer, a senior managing director, joined Bear Stearns in 1989, became the head of the mortgage department seven years later and has been co-head of the global fixed income division with Craig Overlander since 2002.

‘In light of the recent events concerning BSAM’s High Grade and Enhanced Leverage funds, we have determined to make changes in our leadership structure,’ says Bear Stearns chairman and chief executive James E. Cayne.

‘These promotions reflect and acknowledge the depth of talent in our senior management team. Alan and Sam have demonstrated outstanding judgment and leadership skills during their long tenures at Bear Stearns, have made tremendous contributions to building the firm, and are well prepared to assume greater responsibility.

‘Since assuming co-leadership of our fixed income business in 2002, Jeff has helped build a highly successful global fixed income franchise. I particularly want to thank Warren Spector for his significant contributions to Bear Stearns.’

Spector says: ‘I am leaving with nothing but the highest respect and regard for Bear Stearns and all the talented professionals with whom I have been privileged to work. Bear Stearns is a special firm that has weathered countless challenging markets in its history. I intend to remain a significant shareholder and will follow the firm’s future success with great pride.’

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