Lazard Europe

M&A masters

Called the "Granddaddy of M&A," Lazard has advised on some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions in Europe and the Americas since the mid-19th century.  The firm's modern history can be traced to 2002, when dynamic dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein took over the helm of the firm, becoming chief executive.  Wasserstein had a plan when he took leadership of the company, to expand the firm's business so that the Lazard name would be known throughout the world (Wasserstein passed away in 2009).  The firm went public in 2005, and today, Lazard's influence indeed reaches almost every corner of the globe.  It has 2,300 employees and offices in 39 cities across 24 countries on five major continents, and manages more than US$81 billion in assets for its clients.

At Lazard, there are only two main business units: financial advisory and asset management.  Its respected mergers and acquisitions practice is divided into industry groups that include consumer, financial institutions, financial sponsors, health care and life sciences, industrial, power and energy, real estate and technology, media and telecommunications.  Each industry group is managed by regional or global heads.  Lazard also offers financial restructuring, government advisory, alternative investment fund raising and corporate finance services.  (In a financial environment where companies are crumbling and bankruptcies are occurring on a daily basis, Lazard's well-known restructuring division appears primed to be the firm's blue ribbon business in 2009 and 2010).  Lazard's asset management business is mainly comprised of equity products, but it also offers fixed income and alternative investments.  Lazard's principal executive offices are in New York, London and Paris.

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 US$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.  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 expand the firm's international business and recruit top investment bankers from around the world.

Lazard Europe

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


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: LAZ
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chief Executive: Kenneth M. Jacobs
  • 2010 Employees: 2,300

Major Office Locations

  • London, United Kingdom

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