Lazard Europe

M&A masters

Founded in 1848, Lazard has advised on some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions in Europe and the Americas since the beginning of the 20th century. The firm's modern history can be traced to 2002, when dynamic dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein (whose negotiating skills earned him the nickname "Bid 'Em Up Bruce") took over the helm of the firm. Wasserstein led Lazard's IPO in 2005 and expanded the firm's international presence. After his unexpected death in 2009, Kenneth Jacobs, long-time head of Lazard's North America investment banking business, was named chairman and CEO of the firm. Today, Jacobs still leads the firm, which has principal executive offices in New York, London, and Paris. Across the globe, Lazard has offices in 43 cities in 27 countries, and employs approximately 2,400 people.  

At Lazard, there are two main business units: financial advisory and asset management (each accounts for approximately 50 percent of the firm's revenues). The financial advisory unit advises companies, boards, sovereign wealth funds, and governments on M&A transactions, capital structure, capital raising, and restructuring. Some of Lazard's latest high-profile M&A assignments include AT&T's $67.1 billion acquisition of DIRECTV, Vivendi's €17 billion sale of SFR to Numericable, and General Electric's $16.9 billion acquisition of Alstom's thermal, renewables and grid businesses. Meanwhile, Lazard's asset management business offers a range of investments in equity and fixed income strategies, alternative investments, and private equity funds to corporations, public funds, sovereign entities, endowments and foundations, labor funds, financial intermediaries, and private clients. Lazard has assets under management of more than $200 billion.

Gold rush roots

How much does it cost to start a financial services firm?  For the Lazard brothers of New Orleans, Louisiana, the initial investment was $9,000, which funded a dry goods business in 1848. One year later, the Lazards relocated to the gold rush town of San Francisco. The brothers, French immigrants, expanded into banking in Paris in 1852. An office in London and a new American headquarters in New York were opened in 1870 and 1880, respectively. For decades the three "Houses of Lazard" operated mostly autonomously, developing their own specialties and client lists.

Unification took place in 2000 when the three Houses merged following criticism of Michel David-Weill, a distant relative of the original Lazards, who took over the company in 1977. After the merger David-Weill became manager of the firm's executive committee, naming William Loomis as CEO. Loomis resigned in 2001 (reportedly because of wrangling between partners in London and Paris, all of whom were accustomed to having their way). Bruce Wasserstein, founder of Wasserstein Perella, stepped in to lead the firm, and embarked on an ambitious plan to increase the firm's international business and recruit top investment bankers from around the world.

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Lazard Europe


50 Stratton Street
London W1J 8LL
Phone: 44 (0) 20 7187 2000
www.lazard.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: LAZ
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chief Executive: Kenneth M. Jacobs
  • 2013 Employees: 2,403

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom
  • Paris, France

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