Lehman Brothers


Name of Company:Lehman Brothers
Programme Name:Oaklands School/Lehman Brothers Partnership
Staff in London:4949


The Lehman Brothers partnership with Oaklands School was founded in 1998. Through the partnership, students and teachers were given support for activities which enriched and enhanced the school curriculum providing experiences which would otherwise be beyond the reach of many students. The partnerships goals were to create aspirations, support learning and reward achievement.

700 employees from all business divisions and levels partnered with the school to lead programmes benefiting the children and Oakland's management team. Employee volunteering included: hosting work experience, interview skills training, partnership schemes: reading, numeracy, science, IT and French and mentoring. Lehmans hosted an annual art competition, funded student/teacher bursaries, supported exchange programmes to other countries and cultures, sponsored a literary week, regularly welcomed students into Lehman Brothers' offices, including an annual "Oaklands Student to Work Day" and hosted many other events (awards, training days, GCSE classes and celebrations).

Lehman Brothers donated IT equipment, assisted website development, and provided HR training and sport/cultural tickets. In 2006, Lehman Brothers Foundation Europe provided £60,000 for development of a recreational facility, and in 2007, £50,000 for implementation of extra curricular programmes.


In 1998 the firm investigated a long-term partnership with a local school in Tower Hamlets. Working with the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership, Oaklands was selected.

Support from all levels of management was integral to the success of all of Lehman Brothers community initiatives. At Oaklands, the Firm's Vice Chairman was the Chair of Governors at the School for seven years and employees were involved at every stage in their career.

The relationship was managed by a Director and the volunteer schemes by a Manager. Appropriate training was provided and regular feedback meetings were held with employees, teachers and the Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership. These meetings shaped the development of the programme.


Over 1000 students visited Lehman Brothers' offices including all the executive areas. During the partnership, the number of Oaklands School children attaining five GCSE's A*-C more than doubled (25% to 68%). The school was ranked in top 3% nationally for contextual value added over past 4 years. In 2006, Oaklands became the first secondary school in Tower Hamlets to achieve International Status.

On the strength of the partnership, £110,000 in grants was leveraged from the Lehman Brothers Foundation Europe and an estimated £500,000 was leveraged from the Firm in cash and gifts in kind.

"The people from Lehman Brothers most definitely gave me the motivation and incentive to do well in school. Before the relationship between Oaklands and Lehman Brothers I had no idea what I wanted to do and could certainly not see myself going to University."
Ex-Oaklands School student

"I never thought I could do it. No one in my family has been to college. I went to Lehman Brothers for the Study Days and knew that I wanted to work somewhere like that."
- 16 year old Oaklands School student who received a Lehman Brothers bursary for Most Improved Student.