Report: Lehman Buying NYSE Specialist

The bank is interested in Van der Moolen, according to the <I>Financial Times</I>.
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Lehman Brothers

(LEH)

is expected to take over the

New York Stock Exchange

floor trading operations of the closing specialist firm Van der Moolen, according to published reports.

The Financial Times

reported late Tuesday that Lehman is set to buy the firm, which said earlier this month that it would

shut down its specialist operations. Van der Moolen CEO Richard den Drijver said earlier this month that the unit was unprofitable and the company would now instead focus on expanding its brokerage and equity trading operations in the U.S. at the Chicago Board Stock Exchange, an offshoot of the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Van der Moolen's departure came the same week SIG Specialists, a unit of Susquehanna International Group, announced it would also shut down NYSE operations.

NYSE Euronext

(NYX)

, which operates the more than 200-year-old Big Board, has moved much of the trading at the exchange to an electronic platform since its merger last year with Archipelago. About 85% of the exchange's volume is now automatically executed, incoming CEO Duncan Niederauer said earlier this month.