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Lazard Ltd
Type Public (NYSELAZ)
Founded 1848, New Orleans, LA
Founder(s) Alexandre Lazard,
Elie Lazard, Simon Lazard
Headquarters United States New York City, USA
Key people Kenneth Jacobs
(Chairman & CEO)
Bruce Wasserstein
(Former Chairman & CEO)
Industry Financial Services
Products Financial Services
Investment Banking
Investment Management
Revenue $1.56 billion (2008)
Net income $1.138 million (2008)
Employees 2,276 (June 30, 2009)

Lazard Ltd (NYSELAZ) is the parent company of Lazard Group LLC, a global, independent and one of the world's largest investment banks with approximately 2,300 employees in 39 cities across 24 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. Formerly known as Lazard Frères & Co. the firms origins date back to 1848, the firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and capital raising, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments, and individuals. Lazard remained privately held until May 5, 2005, when the company conducted an initial public offering of its shares. In connection with its IPO, Lazard spun off its securities underwriting business, Lazard Capital Markets, which is now its own firm.


Business overview

The famous location of Lazard's main office at 30 Rockefeller Center, New York City, NY

Financial advisory

Lazard's history as a preeminent financial advisor has contributed to its ability to secure key advisory roles in some of the most important, complex and recognizable mergers and acquisitions of the last 160 years. In recent years, Lazard has advised on nearly 1,000 completed mergers and acquisitions, having a cumulative value in excess of $1 trillion. Lazard has one of the most highly regarded corporate advisory departments. Lazard has also advised on some of the largest and highest-profile corporate restructurings around the world. Since 1999, the firm has advised on more than 250 restructurings totaling over $350 billion in debtor assets. In January 2008, Harvard Business Review profiled the firm's Chairman & CEO Bruce Wasserstein in an article titled, "Giving Great Advice".[1] . In 2006, Businessweek referred to the firm as the "Granddaddy of M&A".[2]

Asset management

Lazard's asset management business provides investment management and advisory services to institutional clients, financial intermediaries, private clients, and investment vehicles around the world. The goal of Lazard's asset management business is to produce superior risk-adjusted investment returns and provide customized investment solutions for clients. As of June 30, 2009, total assets under management were $98 billion, managed on behalf of institutional (corporations, labor unions, public pension funds, endowments, foundations, insurance companies, and banks; and through sub-advisory relationships, mutual fund sponsors, broker-dealers and registered advisors) and individual clients (principally family offices and high-net worth individuals).


Early years

Lazard's origins date back to 1848 when the founders, Alexandre Lazard, Simon Lazard, and Elie Lazard, three Jewish brothers from Lorraine, France moved to the United States and formed Lazard Frères & Co. as a dry goods business in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a combined contribution of $9,000. Shortly thereafter, the Lazard brothers moved to the gold rush town of San Francisco, California, where they opened a business selling imported goods and exporting gold bullion. The business progressively became involved in financial transactions, first with its retail clients and then increasingly with commercial clients.

Over time, the business expanded into the banking and foreign exchange businesses. Seeking to expand operations to Europe, the Lazard brothers opened offices in Paris and London in 1858 and 1870, respectively. By 1876, Lazard's businesses had become solely focused on providing financial services. In 1880, Alexandre Weill, the founding brothers’ cousin, assumed control of Lazard.

1914 to present

The period between the two wars saw Lazard ensuring a supremacy in the banking world under the direction of Raymond Philippe, followed by André Meyer. The post World War II period saw the American operations expand significantly as a mergers and acquisitions specialist under the leadership of Meyer and Felix Rohatyn. In 1977, the firm then came to be controlled by Michel David-Weill, as the health of Meyer began to deteriorate. In 1997, Steven Rattner became the deputy chief executive at Lazard, when that position was created for operational management. Rattner left the position in 1999 and left Lazard in 2000 to form Quadrangle Group.

In 2000, under David-Weill's leadership, the three houses of Lazard were formally unified as Lazard LLC. In 2002, David-Weill hired Bruce Wasserstein as CEO. The pair subsequently became embroiled in a much-publicized corporate fight in which David-Weill said he regretted the hiring. In mid-2004, Lazard began to publicly consider an initial public offering.[3]

The tension between David-Weill and Wasserstein culminated in May 2005, when Wasserstein completed an IPO of the firm, ending over 150 years of private ownership.[4] Although David-Weill and other descendants of the founding family had wanted to the company to remain private, they had handed out significant amounts of company shares in remuneration packages to employees. As a result, many employees owned shares in Lazard, and since many of them wanted to cash out, they voted with Wasserstein to go public.

Since 2005, Lazard has pursued an aggressive expansion of its financial advisory business. In addition to opening numerous offices around the globe to serve growing markets, Lazard has also made several strategic acquisitions. It purchased a controlling stake in the Argentinian investment bank MBA (now renamed MBA Lazard), expanded into Australia by purchasing investment bank Carnegie Wylie (now renamed Lazard Carnegie Wylie) and purchased a middle market investment bank in the United States (Goldsmith Agio Helms & Lynner, now renamed Lazard Middle Market). All acquisitions have been fully integrated into the firm (the name differences are in place because of existing client relationships) and are part of the Lazard Group. In addition, the firm has strategic partnership agreements with numerous firms, including Lazard Capital Markets, Lazard Alternative Investments, and Raiffen Investment, an investment bank with Eastern European ties. In July 2009, Lazard acquired the management vehicle of Chicago-based middle market Private Equity Firm The Edgewater Funds.

Lazard continued to be led by Wasserstein, who held the positions of Chairman and CEO until October 14, 2009 when he died suddenly.

Real estate

Lazard had a long history in the real estate investment management business, but had exited the sector in 1989 after the collapse of the ill-fated International Design Center of New York complex in Queens, New York.[5] In 1993, Anthony E. Meyer co-founded Lazard Frères Real Estate Investors,[6] Meyer, together with co-founders Arthur P. Solomon and Robert P. Freeman, engineered Lazard’s re-entry into the property investment sector.

When Rockefeller Center was put up for sale in 1995, Meyer and Lazard teamed with another young investor, William Ackman, the outspoken founder of Gotham Partners (and now the highly-successful activist investor with Pershing Square Capital Partners), to compete against industry giants Goldman Sachs and Tishman Speyer Properties for ownership.[7][8][9] While the bid for Rockefeller Center was unsuccessful, Meyer and Ackman set an early precedent for what Carl Icahn would later refer to as activist investing.[10]

Meyer went on to establish international investment activities for Lazard in both London and Singapore. After the firing of Arthur Solomon as the head of Lazard's real estate division in 1999,[11] Meyer sold his significant minority interest in Lazard Frères Real Estate Investors and moved on to establish Meyer and Co. LLC, an investment and venture capital firm.

Office locations

Netherlands Amsterdam
United States Atlanta
Bahrain Bahrain
People's Republic of China Beijing
Argentina Buenos Aires
France Bordeaux
United States Boston
Australia Brisbane

United States Charlotte
United States Chicago
United Arab Emirates Dubai
Germany Frankfurt
Germany Hamburg
Hong Kong Hong Kong
United States Houston
Peru Lima

United Kingdom London
United States Los Angeles
France Lyon
Spain Madrid
Australia Melbourne
Italy Milan
United States Minneapolis
Uruguay Montevideo

Canada Montreal
India Mumbai
United States New York
Panama Panama City
France Paris
United States San Francisco
Brazil São Paulo
Chile Santiago

South Korea Seoul
Singapore Singapore
Sweden Stockholm
Australia Sydney
Japan Tokyo
Canada Toronto
United States Washington, D.C.
Switzerland Zürich



Past Chairmen

  • Alexandre Lazard, Elie Lazard and Simon Lazard (founders)
  • Alexandre Weill
  • David David-Weill

Current executives

  • Scott D. Hoffman, General Counsel
  • Charles G. "Chuck" Ward III, President, Asset Management
  • Steven J. Golub, Vice Chairman & Chairman, Financial Advisory Group

Board of Directors

  • Ronald J. Doerfler
  • Steven J. Heyer
  • Michael J. Turner

Notable current and former employees


  • Damon Mezzacappa - Founder of Mezzacappa Management LLC
  • Steven Rattner - Venture capitalist
  • Nathaniel Rothschild - Co-Chairman of Atticus Capital LLC
  • John Wylie - CEO Lazard Carnegie Wylie

Politics and public service


  • Cohan, William D. (2007). The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co.. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-51451-4.  
  • Geisst, Charles R (2001). The Last Partnerships: Inside the Great Wall Street Money Dynasties. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-071-36999-6.  
  • Reich, Cary (1983). Financier: The Biography of André Meyer: A Story of Money, Power, and the Reshaping of American Business. New York: William Morrow & Co.. ISBN 0-688-01551-4.  


  1. ^ (pdf) "Giving Great Advice: An Interview with Bruce Wasserstein". Harvard Business Review. January 2008. (pdf).   (via the Lazard website)
  2. ^ "The Taking Of Lazard; Bruce Wasserstein finally opens up on the remaking of the venerable M&A firm". Business Week. November 6, 2006.  
  3. ^ "Lazard Considers Initial Public Offering". The Los Angeles Times. 2004-06-18. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  4. ^ "Showdown Time on Taking Lazard Public". The New York Times. 2004-10-05. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  5. ^ "For Design Mart, East River May Yet Prove Unbridgeable". The New York Times. 1991-03-21. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  6. ^ "Alexander Haagen Announces Stockholder Approval of Lazard Freres Affiliate's Investment of $235 Million of Common Stock". Business Wire. 1997-08-15. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  7. ^ "Rockefeller Center focus of a three-way tussle". The Washington Times. 1995-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  8. ^ "Fight for Rockefeller Center Joined by David Rockefeller". The New York Times. 1995-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  9. ^ "Commercial Property/Rockefeller Center; Surmounting the Hump of Lease Expirations". The New York Times. 1993-12-12. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  10. ^ "Icahn, Seeking Hedge Fund Investors, Shows How He Made $2.8 Bln". 2005-02-02. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  
  11. ^ "Real Estate Chief Leaving Lazard". The New York Times. 1999-04-10. Retrieved 2008-10-06.  

External links


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