The Lehman Chronicles: 10 years after the collapse

A decade of dreams and dramas

The collapse of Lehman Brothers on 15 September 2008 was the most dramatic economic event of modern times. Its impact on the real estate industry was huge with values plummeting, some of property’s biggest companies falling into administration and moguls losing their fortunes.

A decade on and the impacts are still being felt. Some have made their careers and profited massively from the distress that was brought about from Lehman’s collapse and the global economic crisis. Others have never recovered.

EG spoke to some of the industry’s biggest characters that were caught in the heart of the storm about their memories of those chaotic times, the lessons they have learnt as a result and whether they think another collapse may be on the horizon.

The news of the Lehman Brothers collapse was featured in EG's print publication in September 2008

David Samuel with Jonathan Pollitt and Michael Buhl Nielsen at Lehman Brothers in the 1990s
The Lehman Brothers offices in Canary Wharf, E14 in 2004
Traders at the Wall Street Stock Exchange during the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings, 2008

The Lehman Chronicles: 2008-2018

LISTEN: The collapse of Lehman Brothers – harrowing memories, lessons learnt and the next crash

EG spoke to the industry’s leading figures who were at the centre of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 about their vivid recollections of the harrowing era and the lessons that have been learnt since.

UK commercial property market: is a crash or correction on the way?

LSH chief executive Ezra Nahome asks, with prime yields returning to historic lows and Brexit uncertainty, is history about to repeat itself? 

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Ezra Nahome

'Where were you when Lehman Brothers collapsed?'

EG editor Damian Wild thinks it may be that we look back on three deals around this 10th anniversary as a critical juncture. And hopefully a positive one.

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Damian Wild, editor, EG

'It is sometimes easy to forget that Northern Rock came before'

Duncan Owen, global head of real estate at Schroders and former chief executive of Invista Real Estate, talks about the warnings that were ignored.

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'The credit crunch resulted in many of us having to completely start again'

Brendan Flood, the former chief executive of Modus Ventures – the retail developer that collapsed into administration in May 2009 – remembers the “utter shock” he felt as news broke of Lehman’s collapse.

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'Personally, I felt enormous shame'
Lehman Chronicles

Johnny Sandelson – partner at Westbourne Capital Partners, co-founder of Auriens and founder of GuestInvest – talks about how the financial crash destroyed his business.

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'Even apparently good investments can collapse'

Aubrey Adams, former Savills chief executive, current chairman of L&Q and member of Tritax Big Box’s board, recalls the conditions leading up to the crash, and speculates on a future downturn.

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'Everything falls together, the difference comes in recovery'

Richard Dakin, managing director, CBRE Capital Advisors, remembers the fallout from the crisis and how London managed to recover.

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Richard-Dakin-847

'Failure was not an option'
Lehman Brothers

As the industry’s most influential players look back at the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Blackstone's Ken Caplan highlights opportunities for growth.

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'I would have done a lot of things differently'

Richard Croft, chief executive of M7 Real Estate, examines how the use of data can be fundamental in avoiding another financial crisis.

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image of Richard Croft

'You find the true strength of people when you are in the trenches together'

In the first of a series of recollections from the industry’s most influential players looking back at the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Prestbury Investments chairman Nick Leslau reveals how the crisis shaped him and his business.

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Nick-Leslau

'Hindsight is a great thing'
Lehman Brothers

In part two of EG's series of key industry players’ recollections of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Pat Gunne, chief executive of Green REIT, discusses the cyclical nature of the market and why he thinks another downturn is likely.

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'What doesn't break you makes you stronger'

In the third part of EG's series talking to key industry players’ about their recollections, James Jakeman, partner at Benson Elliot and former executive director at Lehman Brothers, gives his take on the events leading up to the crash.

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The Lehman’s collapse – five years on

A real estate and finance veteran recalls the collapse as a surreal collision of experiences.

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Where were you when Lehman’s collapsed?

Peter Bill talks to eight big property players as they recall their reactions.

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Bad loans - and how to fix them

Here is what you need to know about the distressed loan market, which is more active than ever.

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