Employees have completed a buyout of New York City-based Neuberger Berman Group LLC, creating one of the largest private, independent money managers, according to the firm.

Neuberger Berman, which has about $158 billion under management, is now majority-owned by an employee group consisting of portfolio managers and senior professionals. The firm's previous owner, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., continues to hold a minority interest.

The 70-year-old company has about 1,600 employees, including 250 investment professionals. The company manages investments for institutions and individuals and provides global equity, fixed income and alternative investments through customized separately managed accounts.

About two-thirds of Neuberger Berman's equity mutual fund assets are in funds that have earned 4- and 5-star rankings from Morningstar for three-year performance, according to the firm.
"We are thrilled to begin this new chapter in Neuberger Berman's rich investment history," said George Walker, chairman and chief executive officer of Neuberger Berman.