Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the day that United States investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for bankruptcy and triggered a mass upheaval among its staff around the world. Many remained in the investment banking industry and accepted new employment contracts from Japan's largest investment bank, Nomura. Some chose to strike out on their own. But one way or another, Lehman's collapse resulted in a big change for the 8,000 staff employed by the bank in its Asia-Pacific, Europe and Middle East operations, as well as their families. Recalling the eventful period, Tanya Bartmann-Bullock, a former Lehman employee, said the concerns she had for her newborn baby girl were much greater than the financial crisis the world found itself in. 'At the time, having my daughter was more important than any company affairs,' Bartmann-Bullock said, recalling how she felt when she was expecting her baby in early November last year, shortly after the US lender went under on September 15. At the time, she was vice-president of human resources for learning and development, providing training programmes for staff. Even after the bankruptcy filing, Hong Kong staff continued to report for work at International Finance Centre Tower to find out what was going on. Within a week, they learned Japan's largest brokerage proposed to acquire Lehman's Asia-Pacific, Europe and Middle East business, covering 8,000 staff. About 95 per cent of the staff took Nomura's offer to stay. 'My major worry at the time was the medical cover, as we relied on the Lehman plan to pay a portion of the bill. My husband and I were not sure if Nomura would offer the same maternity coverage,' said Bartmann-Bullock. Her concerns were removed shortly after, when Nomura offered a two-year guarantee of benefits received by Lehman staff. She was also able to stay on with a flexible arrangement that allowed her to work for just two days a week and achieve a better work-life balance. Her responsibilities remain much the same but have been expanded to include assisting in setting up a Japanese-language training programme to enhance communication and cultural integration between Lehman and Nomura staff. Anne Lui, a vice-president of Lehman in charge of media relations, was also close to giving birth when Lehman filed for bankruptcy, and she found herself fielding scores of telephone calls from people wanting to know what was happening. Now at Nomura, Lui is doing the same job, has the same title and is working in the same building. 'Not much has changed at work for me in the past 12 months. But having become a mother has brought a lot of change to my personal life,' she said. 'I feel good about working at Nomura, as the company has the drive and determination to develop further as a top global investment bank based in Asia.' Those working in the distressed-assets department of Lehman got the same two-year guarantee of benefits without needing to work any more, after Nomura decided to exit that line of business. Others were not so lucky. 'We watched as the US operations of Lehman were purchased by Barclays. Then Nomura bought the Asia-Pacific business as well as certain business lines in Europe and the Middle East,' said Balraj Bassi. Bassi was with the fixed-income division of Lehman in London when it filed for bankruptcy. The London office was dissolved and the staff let go. 'It was a tough time,' said Bassi, who elected, with three other former Lehman fixed-income team members based in London - Alexei Jiltsov, Anne Sanciaume and Thomas Soede - to set up a hedge fund called Blacktree Investment Partners in December last year. The company runs a macro currency fund. The team worked for six months to get all the regulatory approval and infrastructure built before it started trading in July. 'Lehman's loss was sudden and unexpected,' Bassi said. 'For its staff, it was both a sad day and an opportunity to do something different.' The former Lehman colleagues now run their currency fund from offices in the building next door to Lehman's former European headquarters in London and are still in touch with all their old colleagues, be they in new careers or with former rivals.