|Traded as||NYSE: LAZ (Class A)|
Russell 1000 Component
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York City, New York, United States
|Kenneth M. Jacobs|
(Chairman and CEO)
|Revenue||US$2.826 billion (2018)|
|US$681 million (2018)|
|US$527 million (2018)|
|AUM||US$231 billion (2018)|
|US$4.997 billion (2018)|
|US$917 million (2018)|
Number of employees
|2,996 (December 2018)|
Lazard (formerly known as Lazard Frères & Co.) is a financial advisory and asset management firm that engages in investment banking, asset management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients. It is the world's largest independent investment bank, with principal executive offices in New York City, Paris and London.
Lazard was founded in 1848 and operates from 43 cities across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. The firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and individuals.
On July 12, 1848, three Jewish French brothers, Alexandre Lazard, Lazare Lazard, and Simon Lazard, founded Lazard Frères & Co. as a dry goods merchant store in New Orleans, Louisiana. By 1851, Simon and two more brothers, Maurice and Elie, had all moved to San Francisco, California, while Alexandre moved to New York. Lazard Frères began to serve miners engaged in the California Gold Rush, and soon expanded into banking and foreign exchange.
In 1854, Alexandre Lazard moved to Paris, France, where he opened an office to complement the U.S. business. The firm began advising the French government on gold buying. In 1870, the firm continued to expand its international operations, opening an office in London as well.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the firm evolved into three "Houses of Lazard" in the United States, France, and England, separately managed but allied. The Lazard partners advised clients on financial matters and built a cross-border network of high-level relationships in business and government. Noted financial advisor George Blumenthal rose to prominence as the head of the U.S. branch of Lazard Frères and was a partner of Lazard Frères in France.
In the economic boom following World War II, the American operations of Lazard expanded significantly under the leadership of the financier André Meyer. Meyer and Lazard partner Felix Rohatyn have been credited with virtually inventing the modern mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market.
In 1953, Lazard Investors Ltd began an asset management business in London, which is the origin of today's Lazard Asset Management.
In 1977, as the health of Meyer began to deteriorate, the firm came to be controlled by Michel David-Weill. Under his leadership, the three houses of Lazard were formally united in 2000 as Lazard LLC.
In 2002, David-Weill hired Bruce Wasserstein to be CEO. Lazard became a public company, with nearly two-third of its shares owned by current and former employees in 2005. Wasserstein became its first Chairman and CEO. In connection with the initial public offering (IPO), Lazard spun off its broker-dealer business, Lazard Capital Markets.
Lazard advises clients on a wide range of strategic and financial issues. These may include advising on the potential acquisition of another company, business or certain assets, or on the sale of certain businesses, assets or an entire company. The firm also advises on alternatives to a sale such as recapitalizations, spin-offs, carve-outs and split-offs. For companies in financial distress, Lazard advises on all aspects of restructuring. The firm has advised on many of the largest restructuring assignments in the wake of the global financial crisis that began in mid-2007. Lazard also advises on capital structure and capital raising. Capital structure advice includes reviewing and analyzing structural alternatives and assisting in long-term planning. Capital raising advice includes private and public market financing. Lazard's Sovereign Advisory group advises governments and sovereign entities on policy and financial issues.
Lazard's asset management business provides investment management and financial advisory services to institutional clients, financial intermediaries, private clients, and investment vehicles around the world. The firm manages assets 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).
The bank operates from 43 cities across 27 countries.
Lazard's board of directors as of April 2019.