Lazard Ltd (formerly known as Lazard Frères & Co.) is a financial advisory and asset management firm that engages in investment banking, asset management and other financial services, primarily with institutional clients. It is the world's largest independent investment bank, with principal executive offices in New York City, Paris and London.[2]

Lazard Ltd
Russell 1000 Component
IndustryFinancial services
Founded1848; 173 years ago (1848)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
FoundersAlexandre Lazard
Lazare Lazard
Simon Lazard
HeadquartersHamilton, Bermuda
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York City, New York, United States
Key people
Kenneth M. Jacobs
(Chairman and CEO)
ProductsFinancial services
Investment banking
Investment management
RevenueDecrease US$2.566 billion (2020)[1]
Increase US$502.141 million (2020)[1]
Increase US$402.461 million (2020)[1]
AUMIncrease US$258.642 billion (2020)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$5.971 billion (2020)[1]
Total equityIncrease US$999.433 million (2020)[1]
Number of employees
3,106 (December 2020)[1]

Lazard was founded in 1848 and operates from more than 40 cities across 25 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. The firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and individuals.[1]


Lazard's largest office is at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York City, NY

Early yearsEdit

On July 12, 1848, three brothers, Alexandre Lazard, Lazare Lazard, and Simon Lazard, founded Lazard Frères & Co. as a dry goods merchant store in New Orleans, Louisiana. By 1851, Simon and two more brothers, Maurice and Elie, had all moved to San Francisco, California, while Alexandre moved to New York. Lazard Frères began to serve miners engaged in the California Gold Rush, and soon expanded into banking and foreign exchange.[3]

In 1854, Alexandre Lazard moved to Paris, France, where he opened an office to complement the U.S. business. The firm began advising the French government on gold buying. In 1870, the firm continued to expand its international operations, opening an office in London as well.[3]

The name "Lazard Freres" means "Lazard Brothers" or "the Brothers Lazard" in French. It refers to associations of the Lazard brothers to form various financial services institutions with world-wide offices and investments.

The three houses of LazardEdit

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the firm evolved into three “Houses of Lazard” in the United States, France, and England, separately managed but allied. The Lazard partners advised clients on financial matters and built a cross-border network of high-level relationships in business and government. 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.[3]

In the economic boom following World War II, the American operations of Lazard expanded significantly under the leadership of the financier André Meyer. Meyer and Lazard partner Felix Rohatyn have been credited with virtually inventing the modern mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market.[4]

In 1953, Lazard Investors Ltd began an asset management business in London, which is the origin of today's Lazard Asset Management.[5]

A unified firmEdit

In 1977, as the health of Meyer began to deteriorate, the firm came to be controlled by Michel David-Weill. Under his leadership, the three houses of Lazard were formally united in 2000 as Lazard LLC.[6]

In 2002, David-Weill hired Bruce Wasserstein to be CEO. Lazard became a public company, with nearly two-thirds of its shares owned by current and former employees in 2005. Wasserstein became its first Chairman and CEO. In connection with the initial public offering (IPO), Lazard spun off its broker-dealer business, Lazard Capital Markets.[4]

Following Wasserstein's death in 2009, Lazard's Board of Directors elected Kenneth M. Jacobs Chairman and CEO.[7]

Business overviewEdit

Financial advisoryEdit

Lazard advises clients on a wide range of strategic and financial issues. These may include advising on the potential acquisition of another company, business or certain assets, or on the sale of certain businesses, assets or an entire company. The firm also advises on alternatives to a sale such as recapitalizations, spin-offs, carve-outs and split-offs. For companies in financial distress or their creditors, Lazard advises on all aspects of restructuring. The firm has advised on many of the largest restructuring assignments in the wake of the global financial crisis that began in mid-2007.[8] Lazard also advises on capital structure and capital raising. Capital structure advice includes reviewing and analyzing structural alternatives and assisting in long-term planning. Capital raising advice includes private and public market financing. Lazard's Sovereign Advisory group advises governments and sovereign entities on policy and financial issues.[9]

Asset managementEdit

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 firm manages assets 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).[1]

Office locationsEdit

The bank operates from more than 40 cities across 25 countries.[10]

Lazard's New York City headquarters spans the top floors of 30 Rockefeller Plaza,[11] including what used to be Room 5600, the former offices of the Rockefeller family dynasty.[12]


Past chairmenEdit

Board of directorsEdit

Lazard's board of directors as of April 2019.[13]

Notable current and former employeesEdit


Politics and public serviceEdit



  • de Rougemont, Guy D. (2010). Lazard Frères: Banquiers des Deux Mondes (1840-1939). Paris: Fayard. ISBN 978-2-213-66125-4.
  • Cohan, William D. (2007). The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-51451-4.
  • 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.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Lazard Ltd Annual Report (Form 10-K)". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2021-02-26. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
  2. ^ Indap, Sujeet; Massoudi, Arash; Fontanella-Khan, James (September 8, 2015). "Investment banking: Walking away from Wall Street". Financial Times.
  3. ^ a b c Guy de Rougemont, Lazard Frères, Banquiers des Deux Mondes (1840-1939), Librairie Arthème Fayard, 2010
  4. ^ a b "Institutional Investor International Edition, November 2011 "The New House of Lazard"" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on May 9, 2013. Retrieved July 29, 2013.
  5. ^ "Lazard website - About Lazard". Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  6. ^ William Cohan, Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co, Doubleday, 2007
  7. ^ "Lazard Names Kenneth Jacobs as Its New Chief". The New York Times. November 17, 2009.
  8. ^ McCracken, Jeffrey (January 14, 2012). "Lazard Appoints Kurtz Restructuring Chief After Ridings, Savage". Bloomberg.
  9. ^ "Lazard Reports 2013 fourth quarter earnings". Archived from the original on April 29, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  10. ^ "Lazard global offices". Lazard. Retrieved March 29, 2018.
  11. ^ "Lazard Takes More of 30 Rock". 15 March 2011.
  12. ^ Makarechi, Kia. "Rockefeller Family Leaving 30 Rockefeller Center for the First Time". The Hive.
  13. ^ "Lazard Leadership". Lazard. Retrieved 29 March 2018.

External linksEdit