Bear Adds Brass With Eye on Global Growth

CEO Jimmy Cayne doubles the size of a top committee.
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Bear Stearns (BSC) appears to be setting the table for a greater expansion outside of the U.S.

In an internal memo issued today, CEO Jimmy Cayne says the firm has added eight new members to its management and compensation committee. The new slate includes Michel Péretié, CEO of Bear Stearns Europe.

"As we continue to grow as an organization, we believe the most effective way to manage the future success and expansion of the firm is to expand the M&C Committee to include representatives from our major business areas and operations," the memo states.

A Bear Stearns spokesman confirmed the changes but declined to comment further.

The move, which will more than double the ranks of the management and compensation committee to 15 members, comes as the company's stock has come unhinged. Bear Stearns shares are off nearly 40% from their highs earlier this year and last month briefly dipped into the once-unthinkable territory below $100 a share.

Bear fell $2.83 Friday to $104.84.

Bear has been at the center of the subprime flap that has upended the market and managed to derail credit markets globally. Amid all of this, one of the major knocks against Bear -- like rival

Lehman

(LEH)

-- has been that the firm has been too U.S.-centric and not sufficiently international in focus.

Also joining Bear's committee are Steve Meyer, co-head of the global equities division, Craig Overlander, co-head of fixed income, Tom Marano, global head of mortgages, rates and foreign exchange, Michael Alix, chief risk officer, and Peter Cherasia, head of tech.

Bear's reconfigured management and compensation has the tough task of sorting out strategy and figuring out how best to staff the investment bank.

With all the credit crunching and the infamous implosion of Bear Stearns' hedge funds, observers say reduced bonuses and even pink slips may be in the offing. So the committee, which is meant to meet weekly, has its work cut out for it.