New Bear Stearns CEO vows return to profits

NEW YORK Tue Jan 8, 2008 8:06pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New Bear Stearns Cos Inc BSC.N Chief Executive Alan Schwartz on Tuesday vowed to return the investment bank to strong profitability and said being acquired is not a strategy.

Schwartz made his remarks shortly after Bear Stearns said he would replace long-time CEO James Cayne, who is retiring but will remain nonexecutive chairman of the No. 5 U.S. Investment bank.

Schwartz, a star investment banker at Bear Stearns who became president last year, takes over a company whose bedrock mortgage franchise took a beating in 2007. Two of the company's hedge funds collapsed last summer and the company took heavy losses on bad bets on risky subprime mortgages.

When asked if Bear Stearns would entertain takeover offers, Schwartz quickly cast that idea aside.

"Being acquired is not a strategy," Schwartz told Reuters in a telephone interview.

(Reporting by Tim McLaughlin, editing by Richard Chang)

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