30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020
Interim CEO: Steven Golub
Stock Symbol: LAZ
Lazard, one of the world's preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 39 cities across 24 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and South America. With origins dating 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 also operates a wholly owned subsidiary, Lazard Frères Banque SA, a Paris-based registered bank regulated by the Banque de France whose primary operations include commercial banking and the management of the Treasury positions of Lazard's Paris operations through its money-market desk.
Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein died of a heart ailment in October. In addition to being CEO of Lazard, he was also owner of New York magazine which he purchased in 2004. Steven Golub was named Interim CEO.
In 2008, Lazard reported revenues of $1.69 billion and net income of $3.1 million.
The company was originally founded in 1848
when the Lazard brothers formed Lazard Frères & Co.
as a dry goods business in New Orleans, LA, with a combined contribution
of $9,000. Shortly thereafter, the Lazard brothers moved to the
gold rush town of San Francisco, 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 1852
and 1870, respectively. By 1876, Lazard's businesses had become
solely focused on providing financial services. In 1880, Alexander
Weill, the founding brothers' cousin, assumed control of Lazard.
Through the early and mid-twentieth century,
the three Lazard "Houses" in London, Paris and New
York continued to grow their respective operations independently
of each other, with the New York House coming under the leadership
of André Meyer in 1944. Under Mr. Meyer and continuing
with Felix Rohatyn, the New York House further developed its
reputation as a preeminent mergers and acquisitions advisory
firm. Michel David-Weill, a descendant of the founding families,
joined Lazard Frères et Cie. in Paris in 1956, ascended
to a leadership role within the French operations and later moved
to the New York House, where he became senior partner in 1977.
Lazard has conducted an asset management
business in Paris since 1969, establishing a separate subsidiary,
Lazard Frères Gestion, for those operations in 1995. In
1970, the New York House entered the institutional asset management
business by establishing Lazard Asset Management to complement
its financial advisory business.
Throughout the twentieth century, Lazard's
Paris and New York Houses were owned by the Houses' individual
partners and by relations of their founders. For much of that
period, the London House was majority-owned by Pearson plc, until
the sale in 2000 by Pearson of its interests to a predecessor
of Eurazeo S.A.
The unification of the Houses of Lazard under a single global
firm was completed on January 3, 2000, with their merger to form
Lazard LLC. Bruce Wasserstein joined Lazard in early 2002 as
Head of Lazard. Under Mr. Wasserstein's direction, Lazard has
pursued a strategy of growing its Financial Advisory and Asset
Management businesses by attracting senior investment bankers
and investment advisory professionals to the firm.
Lazard went public in 2005.
Immediately prior to completing its initial
public offering, Lazard spun off Lazard Capital Markets and Lazard
Alternative Investments, which are no longer part of Lazard.
On August 13, 2007, Lazard acquired Goldsmith
Agio Helms, a U.S.-based middle market investment bank.