Lazard Ltd. is the parent company of Lazard LLC, a New York-based, independent investment bank with approximately 2,400 employees in 41 cities across 24 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. 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 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, which is now an independent firm.

Business Overview

Financial Advisory

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 75 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 also advised on some of the largest and highest-profile corporate restructurings around the world. Since 1999, the firm has advised on more than 100 in- and out-of-court restructurings totaling over $300 billion of debt. In 2006, Businessweek profiled the firm's Chairman & CEO Bruce Wasserstein, and referred to the firm as the "Granddaddy of M&A".

Asset Management

Lazard's asset management business provides investment management and 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, 2008, total assets under management were $134.1 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).

Office Locations

Buenos Aires
Hong Kong
Los Angeles
New York
Panama City
San Diego
San Francisco
São Paulo
Washington, DC


Lazard's origins date back to 1848 when the founders, the Lazard brothers -- Alexandre Lazard, Simon Lazard, and Elie Lazard -- moved to the United States from Lorraine, France, and formed Lazard Frères & Co. as a dry goods business in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a combined contribution of $9,000. Shortly thereafter, the Lazard brothers moved to the gold rush town of San Francisco, California, 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 1858 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. The period between the two wars saw Lazard ensuring a supremacy in the banking world under the direction of Raymond Philippe, followed by André Meyer. The post World War II period saw the American operations expand significantly as a mergers and acquisitions specialist under the leadership of André Meyer and Felix Rohatyn. The firm then came to be controlled by Michel David-Weill in 1977, as the health of André Meyer began to deteriorate. Under David-Weill's leadership, the three houses of Lazard were formally unified as Lazard LLC in 2000.

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 having ever hired Wasserstein. This tension 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 wanted to retain private ownership, they had pursued a policy of handing out 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 hold a public offering. Lazard continues to be led by Bruce Wasserstein, who holds the positions of Chairman and CEO.


Past Chairmen

  • Alexandre Lazard, Elie Lazard and Simon Lazard (founders)

  • Alexandre Weill

  • David David-Weill

  • Pierre David-Weill

  • Michel David-Weill

Current Executives

Board of Directors

Notable Current and Former Employees


Politics and Public Service


  • 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 0-071-36999-6.
  • 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.

External Links

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