Harvey Krueger, Lehman’s Pioneer of Israeli Market, Dies at 88

  • He drew institutional investors to ’87 Teva Pharmaceutical IPO
  • Helped pull off 1977 merger of Lehman Brothers and Kuhn Loeb

Harvey Krueger, the Lehman Brothers Inc. executive who opened an early investment pipeline between Wall Street and Israel that helped finance companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., the world’s largest generic drugmaker, has died. He was 88.

He died on April 23 at his home in Manhattan, according to the office of Elizabeth Krueger, a New York state senator who represents a district on the east side of Manhattan.

As president and chief executive officer of Kuhn Loeb & Co., Krueger helped pull off its 1977 merger with Lehman Brothers to create one of the world’s largest securities firms. Krueger became a senior managing director and vice chairman of Lehman Brothers. Following Lehman’s bankruptcy in 2008, and subsequent acquisition by Barclays Plc, Krueger became a vice chairman of Barclays.

His introduction to Israel’s markets came in 1961, when, as an associate at Kuhn Loeb, he was dispatched to help Bank Leumi Le-Israel plan its first offering of shares in the U.S. As an American Jew, he didn’t feel an immediate affinity with the Jewish homeland.

“Wherever I went I was proselytized, whether at the Dead Sea Works (now Israel Chemicals) or over lunch at a refinery on the shores of Lake Tiberius, despite my making it quite clear that, married and with family, I had no intention of moving to Israel,” he wrote in HaShiur, a publication of Manhattan’s Central Synagogue.

Tel Aviv

He returned a year later to help another bank arrange financing, and this time, on a crowded street in Tel Aviv, was “struck by the idea that I was actually looking for myself. It has been a long time since, but through Israel and because of Israel, I know who I am and what I am.”

Following the 1973 war between Israel and its Arab neighbors, “the few other international bankers who had been intermittently active in Israel left, and I was the only remaining international investment banker,” he wrote.

The Israeli government’s 1985 campaign to reduce spending and inflation made the nation more attractive to international investors, and Krueger -- whose firm was then Shearson Lehman Brothers -- helped underwrite the 1987 offering of shares of Petach Tikva, Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical.

That deal, he said, marked “the first time any institutional investors had invested in Israel equity.”

Another career highlight was the 1996 sale of 100-year bonds in the government-controlled Israel Electric Corp. Krueger called that successful offering “both economically and psychologically significant, because now Israel could say, ‘Look, the markets believe we are here to stay.”’

Stockton Partners

In 1993 Krueger, while still a senior managing director at Lehman, helped formed a private investment company, Stockton Partners Inc., to steer venture capital to the Middle East. The New York-based firm now invests primarily in medical devices and life sciences.

Lehman opened its first branch in Tel Aviv in 1994. That helped the firm become a top choice for mergers and acquisitions involving Israeli companies, Investment Dealers Digest reported in 2003, when Lehman partnered with Credit Suisse First Boston to advise on Teva’s $3.4 billion acquisition of Irvine, California-based Sicor Inc.

Krueger and Lehman also advised Teva on its 2006 takeover of Miami-based Ivax Corp. for $7.6 billion.

Krueger was chairman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1983 to 1992, and of Tel Aviv University’s board of governors from 2010 to 2012.

Harvey Mark Krueger was born April 16, 1929, and raised in Hackensack, New Jersey, the first of two sons of Irving Krueger, also known as Isadore, and the former Isabel Kurzman, according to Marquis Who’s Who and Irving Krueger’s death notice in the New York Times.

He received a bachelor’s degree in 1951 from Columbia University in New York and graduated from its law school in 1953.

Early Career

Krueger worked at New York-based law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP until 1959, when he moved to Kuhn Loeb. He became a partner in 1965, head of corporate finance in 1970, and president and CEO in 1976.

“My job has always been troubleshooter around here,” he said, according to a July 1977 article in the New York Times. “People come to me to think things through.”

Four months after that article came the announcement that Kuhn Loeb and Lehman would merge. Lehman’s Peter G. Peterson retained his titles, chairman and president, at the merged firm, a holding company called Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb Inc., with Krueger becoming head of investment banking.

As a member of the firm’s executive committee, Krueger had a front-row seat to the famous battle between Peterson and Lewis Glucksman for control of Lehman, which ended in Peterson’s departure and, in 1984, the sale of Lehman for about $375 million to Shearson/American Express Inc. Glucksman died in 2006.

Krueger’s wife, Connie, died in 2016. In addition to Elizabeth Krueger, known as Liz, they had three children -- Cathy, Abigail and Peter. Peter Krueger, who was vice president in charge of European furniture at Christie’s auction house, died in 1988 of complications from AIDS. The family founded the Peter Krueger Center for Immunological Disorders at Mount Sinai/Beth Israel Medical Center in New York.

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