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Life After Lehman: A Look at How 6 Prominent Players Have Fared

Dick Fuld, Fred Goodwin, Ralph Cioffi, Michael Burry, Angelo Mozilo and Joe Cassano manage to stay out of the limelight.

Richard (Dick) Fuld’s fall was arguably the most dramatic of the 2008 U.S. banking collapse. First, the former Lehman Brothers Holdings chairman and CEO fought to save the firm where he’d spent his entire career. After Lehman filed for bankruptcy on September 15, 2008, he had to explain the disaster to Congress, estimating that he earned roughly $350 million between 2000 and 2007. Yet Fuld, 67, hasn’t walked away from Wall Street. Despite ongoing scrutiny and litigation surrounding Lehman, he and his wife, Kathleen, still live in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2009, the year the couple sold their Park Avenue pied-à-terre for almost $26 million, Fuld launched Matrix Advisors, a New York consulting and advisory firm where he serves as chairman. Among his colleagues is Ernest Green, a notable member of the civil rights movement, who worked with him at Lehman. According to securities filings, Matrix’s clients have included Ecologic Transportation, a Santa Monica, California–based holding company specializing in green transport, and New York construction company Iron Eagle Group. Fuld may no longer be dishing out advice to many of the Fortune 500 executives he rubbed shoulders with at Lehman, but consulting probably beats the bridge circuit. — Imogen Rose-Smith

Today Frederick Goodwin is just plain old Fred. But during his eight years as CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland Group, the former accountant transformed the firm into a global powerhouse with a string of high-profile acquisitions that earned him the nickname Fred the Shred for his skill at integration and cost-cutting — and, in 2004, a knighthood. Goodwin was also known for his arrogance, a trait that prompted the disastrous, RBS-led hostile takeover of Dutch bank ABN Amro for $100 billion in 2007. Reeling from the financial crisis, cash-strapped RBS hit up shareholders with a £12 billion ($18.4 billion) rights issue in April 2008. The U.K. government extended a £45 billion bailout, and Sir Fred resigned before the bank announced a £24 billion annual loss, the biggest in British corporate history. Goodwin, 55, resurfaced briefly in 2010 as a senior adviser to international architecture firm RMJM. After the U.K. Financial Services Authority blamed regulatory and management failings for RBS’s meltdown, the Londoner was stripped of his knighthood last year. — David Rothnie

Of all the speculators to profit from the crash of the U.S. subprime mortgage market, Michael Burry was probably the most acutely aware of the uncomfortable nature of his position — making a fortune from the misfortune of millions of middle- and low-income Americans. Burry, 42, trained as a neurosurgeon before quitting medicine in 2000 and setting up investment firm Scion Capital in his hometown of Cupertino, California. In 2005 he began shorting subprime mortgages. Burry earned millions, but after growing concerned about the regulatory risks, he closed out his position in 2008 and returned all of his investors’ capital. Rising to fame when Michael Lewis and Gregory Zuckerman featured him in their best-selling books on the subprime crisis, The Big Short and The Greatest Trade Ever, respectively, Burry stepped back from the investment business and started managing only his own money. Earlier this year, though, he launched Scion Asset Management; he’s now seeking to raise as much as $200 million from outside investors. — I.R.-S.

Although Angelo Mozilo was late to the subprime party, his perma-tanned face became a symbol of the financial crisis. By 2007 his Calabasas, California–based Countrywide Financial Corp., which the Bronx native had co-founded almost four decades earlier, was the top U.S. mortgage lender. But a fateful venture into subprime loans — one out of three borrowers defaulted and Countrywide lost $704 million in 2007 after a $2.68 billion profit the previous year — ended Mozilo’s reign as CEO. He resigned in July 2008, having earned more than $400 million in compensation since 1999, and Bank of America bought Countrywide for $2.5 billion. Mozilo’s fall from grace continued when the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit accusing him of insider trading and defrauding investors. He settled for $67.5 million in 2010 without admitting or denying wrongdoing. When Armonk, New York–based bond insurer MBIA sued Countrywide in 2011, Mozilo defended his former firm’s lending practices. He also denied the existence of the Friends of Angelo program, through which he allegedly gave juicy mortgage loans to federal politicians and other influential people. Mozilo, 74, has since dropped out of sight. — Ben Baris

In 2007, as the U.S. subprime market started to implode, Florida homeowners were among the worst hit. Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin had bet heavily on that state and others through two mortgage hedge funds they ran for investment bank Bear Stearns Cos. When lender Merrill Lynch & Co. pulled the plug on the $1.6 billion funds over worries about the value of their mortgage assets, it pushed the funds into bankruptcy in July 2007 and turned the subprime troubles into a full-blown crisis. Cioffi, 57, and Tannin found themselves unemployed and under investigation by the SEC and federal law enforcement. Although the pair ended up settling with the SEC ­­— Cioffi was banned from the securities industry for three years, Tannin for two — in 2009 a Brooklyn, New York, federal jury found them not guilty of misleading investors. Cioffi later decamped from New Jersey to Naples, Florida, where he joined Coral Hospitality as a partner in 2011. He helps with capital introduction, strategic planning and acquisitions at Coral, which invests in and manages luxury hotels and resorts, golf and country clubs, and gated communities. — I.R.-S.

Five years on, Joseph Cassano’s past still haunts him. The Brooklyn native stepped down as chief of AIG Financial Products Corp., a division of New York–based insurance giant American International Group, in early 2008 after presiding over the issuance of $440 billion in credit default swap contracts widely blamed for crippling AIG when the housing bubble burst and triggering a $170 billion U.S. government bailout. In his 2010 written testimony to the federal Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Cassano, a policeman’s son who made some $315 million during his 21 years at AIG, denied any wrongdoing. He also contended that “there would have been few, if any, realized losses on the CDS contracts had they not been unwound in the bailout,” noting that the decision to exit those trades was made after he left AIG. Last month Cassano, 58, and several other former executives from the firm were named as defendants when 25 funds run by Chicago-based Nuveen Investments sued AIG for securities fraud. Through his attorney, he declined to comment. — B.B.

The Legacy of Lehman: A Look at the World 5 Years After the Financial Crisis

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