Lehman Brothers picks BlackRock to run $3 billion loan liquidation portfolio

Lehman Brothers Holdings hired BlackRock (BLK) Solutions to manage a liquidation portfolio of roughly $3 billion in commercial loans, according to sources who declined to be named.

The assets are part of a $5.3 billion portfolio Lehman hired WCAS/Fraser Sullivan Investment Management to oversee a year ago.

“The manager was changed by mutual agreement between the company and the prior manager due to a shift in strategy within the loans area,” confirmed Kimberly Macleod, a Lehman spokeswoman, citing information on the company's website. The website did not identify BlackRock as the new manager.

When that deal was announced, WCAS/Fraser Sullivan said it would structure several collateralized loan obligation vehicles with those Lehman assets to monetize them for the benefit of the bankrupt financial company's estate, while managing that portion of the assets not eligible to be sold into CLOs.

In March, Lehman Brothers announced it had emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with the goal of liquidating assets “to efficiently and expeditiously maximize results for creditors.”

Lauren Post, a spokeswoman for BlackRock, declined to comment. John Fraser, managing partner and chief investment officer of WCAS/Fraser Sullivan, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Bloomberg contributed to this story.