Christine Daley, Lehman’s Star Distressed Debt Analyst, Dies
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. signage is displayed at the company’s booth at the New York Stock Exchange in U.S. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Christine Daley, Lehman’s Star Distressed Debt Analyst, Dies

Christine Daley, a veteran analyst who headed Lehman Brothers’ distressed debt team before the firm’s collapse in 2008, has died.

The New York-based investment bank Seaport Global Securities LLC., Daley’s most recent employer, confirmed her death on Sunday. “The firm extends our deepest condolences to Christine’s family,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg News. No cause of death was given. Daley was born in July 1958, according to public records.

“Christine was our star research analyst,” Jay McDermott, now the co-head of cross-asset at Cowen Inc., said of his time working alongside Daley at the brokerage firm Bear Stearns Cos. “The whole bank loan market really developed around mid-90s, and Christine was a pioneer and a big name in the business,” McDermott said in a phone interview on Sunday.

Christine Daley, Lehman’s Star Distressed Debt Analyst, Dies

A graduate of the College of New Rochelle and NYU Stern School of Business, Daley joined Bear Stearns in the high yield and bankruptcy department and worked there until 1993. She later became a managing director at Lehman Brothers, where she led the distressed debt and special situations proprietary desk, and oversaw distressed debt and high yield research.

After the collapse of Lehman Brothers during the global financial crisis, Daley joined Oak Hill Advisors in 2009 as managing director of the firm’s investment team. In 2011, she joined River Birch Capital, a hedge fund co-founded by ex-Lehman President and COO Bart McDade that shuttered in late 2018, before switching to Seaport Global.

Larry McDonald, the founder of investment newsletter Bear Traps Report and a former colleague of Daley at Lehman, said she was a “true Hall-of-Famer” in the distressed investing universe.

In his 2010 book “A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers,” he recalled the time that Daley sensed financial problems at the electricity company Calpine and proposed a massive short position that “took a lot of guts.” Her recommendation would end up making over $190 million for Lehman.

McDermott remembered Daley’s passion and energy for finding opportunities, recalling that she once got the team excited to work on sourcing a deal late into the night before Thanksgiving.

“When she was excited, you were excited. She was one of those people who made everyone on the team a better player,” McDermott said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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