Neuberger Berman’s Segal Is Retiring to Teach High School
(Bloomberg) -- After two decades of managing billions of dollars at Neuberger Berman, Benjamin Segal is retiring to go back to school -- this time at the head of the class.
Segal, a manager on the firm’s International Equity Portfolio, International Equity Fund, and International Select Fund, plans to become a high school math teacher. He will depart the firm by the end of June, according to a regulatory filing Wednesday, and will be replaced by co-portfolio manager Elias Cohen, according to a letter sent to clients.
Segal, 51, said in an interview that he has never taught before, except as a volunteer in the Bronx, where his wife works as a physician. He plans to go back to school to get a Master’s degree in teaching -- including courses in child psychology and classroom management -- and also work as a student teacher before going solo.
“I had a math teacher in high school who made a deep impression on me,” Segal said, adding that the teacher was also the school chaplain. “If I can have a similar impression on a few kids over the next 20 years, I will look back on that with a level of pride and satisfaction.”
Segal co-manages the $1.8 billion Neuberger Berman International Equity Fund, which has generated an average annual return of 11% during the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. He also co-manages the Neuberger Berman International Select Fund, which has about $154 million of assets and an average annual return of 12% during the past five years.
Segal, who grew up in the U.K., joined New York-based Neuberger Berman in 1999. He worked closely in the ensuing years with Cohen, who will take over as senior portfolio manager for the funds and head of Neuberger Berman’s international equity team when Segal departs.
During the past several days, Segal has been speaking with Neuberger Berman clients, assuring them that the transition will go smoothly. Segal said he wouldn’t be making the move if he wasn’t sure that his clients will be in good hands.
“I couldn’t do this without the support of my team,” Segal said. Neuberger Berman, with $405 billion in assets at the end of December, is adding Thomas Hogan to the funds that Segal manages.
Segal and his wife have three children, including two teenagers and a 12-year-old. He said his family is backing his career change, on one condition.
“They’re very supportive as long as I don’t show up in any of their classrooms,” he said.
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