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|Traded as||NYSE: LAZ|
|Founded||1848, New Orleans, Louisiana, United States|
New York City
(Former Chairman & CEO)
|Revenue||$1.905 billion (2012)|
|Net income||$175 million (2012)|
|AUM||$155.337 billion (2012)|
Lazard Ltd is the parent company of Lazard Group LLC, a global, independent investment bank with approximately 2,300 employees in 42 cities across 27 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Central and South America.
Formerly known as Lazard Frères & Co. the firm's origins date back to 1848. Current services provided to corporations, governments, and individuals include advising on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, capital raising, and asset management.
Business overview 
Financial advisory (Investment Banking) 
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 $1 trillion in debtor assets, including the landmark bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings. In January 2008, Harvard Business Review profiled the firm's Chairman & CEO Bruce Wasserstein in an article titled, "Giving Great Advice". In 2006, Businessweek referred to the firm as the "Granddaddy of M&A".
Asset management 
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 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). As of March 2011 Lazard lists their Total Assets Under Management as $160.5bn.
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.
Early years 
Lazard Frères & Co. was founded in 1848 when brothers Alexandre Lazard and Elie Lazard emigrated from Lorraine, France to New Orleans, Louisiana and formed a dry goods business with a combined contribution of $9,000. Shortly thereafter, the brothers relocated to San Francisco to capitalize on the California Gold Rush. There they opened a business selling imported goods and exporting gold bullion. The enterprise progressively expanded into financial transactions, first with its retail clients then increasingly with commercial interests.
Over time, Lazard Frères grew further into the banking and foreign exchange businesses. Seeking to expand operations to Europe, the brothers opened offices in Paris and London in 1852 and 1870, respectively. By 1876, Lazard's was strictly focused on financial services. In 1880, Lazard cousin Alexandre Weill assumed control. Later, 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.
1914 to present 
The period between World Wars I and II saw Lazard rise to the heights of the banking world under the successive direction of Raymond Philippe and André Meyer. The post WWII 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 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, when that position was created for operational management. Rattner left the position in 1999 and 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.
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. Although David-Weill and other descendants of the founding family had wanted 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 or joint ventures with numerous firms, including Lazard Capital Markets, Lazard Alternative Investments, Lazard-Natixis and Raiffeissen 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.
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. In 1993, Anthony E. Meyer co-founded Lazard Frères Real Estate Investors, 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. 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.
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, 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 
Past Chairmen 
Board of directors 
Notable current and former employees 
Politics, Public Service & Other 
- 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 0-07-136999-6.
- 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.
See also 
- Solomon Lazard, who some claim founded Lazard Frères
- "Giving Great Advice: An Interview with Bruce Wasserstein" (PDF). Harvard Business Review. January 2008. (via the Lazard website)
- "The Taking Of Lazard; Bruce Wasserstein finally opens up on the remaking of the venerable M&A firm". Business Week. November 6, 2006.
- "Lazard Ltd. Asset Management business summary". Retrieved 17 May 2011.
- "Lazard Considers Initial Public Offering". The Los Angeles Times. 2004-06-18. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Thomas Jr, Landon (2004-10-05). "Showdown Time on Taking Lazard Public". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Slesin, Suzanne (1991-03-21). "For Design Mart, East River May Yet Prove Unbridgeable". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "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.
- "Rockefeller Center focus of a three-way tussle". The Washington Times. 1995-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Strom, Stephanie (1995-10-02). "Fight for Rockefeller Center Joined by David Rockefeller". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- Deutsch, Claudia H. (1993-12-12). "Commercial Property/Rockefeller Center; Surmounting the Hump of Lease Expirations". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Icahn, Seeking Hedge Fund Investors, Shows How He Made $2.8 Bln". Bloomberg.com. 2005-02-02. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Real Estate Chief Leaving Lazard". The New York Times. 1999-04-10. Retrieved 2008-10-06.