Ex-Lehman Executive Freidheim Said to Lead Investcorp Bank’s Europe Unit

Scott J. Freidheim, the former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ) executive, will run European operations of Investcorp Bank BSC (INVCORP) after three years at Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD), said a person with knowledge of the decision.

Freidheim, 46, will be chief executive officer of Europe for Bahrain-based Investcorp, said the person, who requested anonymity because the appointment hasn’t been announced. Freidheim will be based in London and report to Investcorp founder and CEO Nemir Amin Kirdar, an Iraqi businessman who lives in London. Deborah Botwood Smith, Investcorp’s spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Freidheim worked for New York-based Lehman from 1991 until its collapse in September 2008. In his last post at the investment bank as chief administrative officer, he was close to CEO Richard Fuld and ran the firm’s media relations among other areas. At Sears, Freidheim managed the Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard brands. Kenmore’s market share rose to No. 1 from No. 3 among major appliances in the U.S. during his tenure, according to Traqline market research.

Investcorp manages funds of wealthy Persian Gulf investors, channeling their savings into investments in Europe, the U.S. and other Middle Eastern countries. One of its investments was buying Gucci in 1993 and selling it in public offerings a few years later. While the Gulf firm also has real estate investments and runs hedge funds, its largest operations are in private equity.

Buyers of distressed assets are gearing up for sales by European banks that are being pressed by their regulators to improve their capital ratios. European lenders (BEBANKS) may have to sell as much as 3 trillion euros ($3.99 trillion) of assets in the next few years, according to Barclays Plc.

Freidheim resigned from Sears in August, following the departures of other top executives, including Chief Financial Officer Michael Collins in May. The company, which has lost sales to competitors, has had six CFOs and four chief executive officers since Chairman Edward Lampert combined Sears and Kmart in 2005.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yalman Onaran in New York at yonaran@bloomberg.net or @yalman_bn on Twitter

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer in New York at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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