Seth Glickenhaus, who began his career on Wall Street as a messenger before the 1929 crash, is closing his business.
Glickenhaus & Co., his New York-based firm that traces its roots to 1938, is transferring portfolio-management responsibilities for its $900 million in assets to Straus Group, a unit of Neuberger Berman led by senior partner Marvin Schwartz, the companies said today in a statement. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.
“When you get older, your vision and hearing isn’t what it was and that makes it tougher to manage money,” Seth Glickenhaus, 98, said today in a telephone interview, explaining the reason for the transaction.
Glickenhaus is one of the few current money managers who lived through the Great Depression. In a 1997 interview with Bloomberg, Glickenhaus said he had been friends for decades with Roy Neuberger, who co-founded Neuberger Berman in 1939. Neuberger died in 2010 at the age of 107.
The two firms share a similar value investing philosophy and have a long history of association, said Glickenhaus.
“Our performances have mirrored each other over the years,” he said. He described his long-term results as “good,” without being more specific.
Glickenhaus, his son James Glickenhaus, 62, and Al Feinman will serve as senior advisers to the Straus Group, although direct management of client accounts will be at the sole discretion of Neuberger Berman, according to the statement. The transfer of funds will be subject to client consent, the firms said. Straus Group oversees about $11 billion.
Glickenhaus attended Harvard University in the 1930s with the founder of the Straus Group, Philip Straus. A longtime Neuberger Berman portfolio manager, Straus died in 2004 after more than 50 years at the firm.
Glickenhaus has been quoted over the years on a range of subjects, including his memories of the crash of 1929, when as a high school student, he worked as a messenger for Salomon Brothers. He said in a 2004 interview that the market crash in 1929 was initially viewed by as a “minor aberration” by investors who believed that the market would come back.
“But it was really not until 1932 or 1933 that things were really desperate,” he said.
In April 2000, a month after stock prices reached a peak, he told Bloomberg that the bull market was over.
“We’re going to consolidate the huge gains for the next 10 or 15 years,” he said. “All this absurd opinion that companies will go up 15 percent per annum is over.”
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at 1494.73 April 4, 2000, the day Glickenhaus was interviewed, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The U.S. benchmark has declined about 4.4 percent since then, closing at 1428.59 on Oct. 12.
In a 2004 interview, he said then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan owed his reputation to luck rather than skill.
“He’s cut interest rates much too low and borrowed from the future in many areas such as construction and auto sales and we’re going to pay the piper,” Glickenhaus said at the time.
Glickenhaus today said he would be involved in the transition of clients to Neuberger Berman and after that might still manage family money.
Neuberger Berman, a private employee-controlled firm with $202 billion in assets, has mutual funds, private equity and hedge funds. Employees expect to own 64 percent of the business at the end of 2012, the firm said in a June statement.
Neuberger Berman, acquired by Lehman Brothers Holding Inc. in 2003, spun itself off from the company through a management buyout in May 2009, after the investment bank filed for bankruptcy at the height of the financial crisis.