Baron Leon Lambert, Belgian Babker, Dies at 58
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) _ Baron Leon Lambert, a driving force behind one of Belgium’s top financial institutions and a top executive in the U.S. firm Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc., has died, officials said Sunday. He was 58.
Lambert died at Brussels’ Erasmus Hospital on Thursday, but news of his death was not announced until Sunday. The cause of death was not announced.
Lambert headed Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, Belgium’s second-largest holding company, for 38 years. He brought the firm from the brink of bankruptcy just after World War II to the forefront of the Belgian business world.
The Belgian firm was recently connected to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation of its U.S. affiliate Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. for alleged insider trading.
Groupe Bruxelles has a 55.8 percent stake in Lambert Brussels Corp., which in turn has a 28.3 percent interest in Drexel Burnham. Groupe Bruxelles has denied any wrongdoing.
Lambert resigned as chairman of the board earlier this year, citing personal reasons.
His great grandfather, Samuel, founded the Banque Lambert in 1840.
Lambert was a co-founder in 1971 of Artemis, an international art investment trust. He owned a large art collection, including works by Giacometti, Rodin, Degas, Bonnard and Belgian surrealists Rene Magritte and Paul Delvaux.
He began selling off the collection after his retirement.
A Groupe Bruxelles spokesman said services would be held Monday. Lambert was not married. It was not immediately known if Lambert had any survivors.