The Last Tycoons

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co. is the debut book by William D. Cohan. It was released on April 3, 2007 by Doubleday.[1] It focuses on the history of the prominent investment bank Lazard Frères.[2] The book won the 2007 Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.[3]

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Frères & Co.
The last tycoons -- book cover.jpg
Hardcover edition
AuthorWilliam D. Cohan
CountryUnited States
SubjectCorporate History, Finance, Investment banking
Publication date
April 3, 2007 (2007-04-03)
Media typePrint (hardback)
Pages752 pp.
Followed byHouse of Cards 


William D. Cohan, as of 2013 an author of three New York Times best-selling books about Wall Street, is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair, and a former award-winning investigative newspaper reporter based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He worked on Wall Street for seventeen years. He spent six years at Lazard Frères in New York, then Merrill Lynch, and later became a managing director at JP Morgan Chase.


  1. Great Men
  2. Tomorrow, the Lazard House Will Go Down
  3. Original Sin
  4. You Are Dealing with Greed and Power
  5. Felix the Fixer
  6. The Savior of New York
  7. The Sun King
  8. Felix for President
  9. The Cancer is Greed
  10. The Vicar
  11. The Boy Wonder
  12. The Franchise
  13. Felix Loses It
  14. It's a White Man's World
  15. The Heir Apparent
  16. All the Responsibility but None of the Authority
  17. He Lit up a Humongous Cigar and Puffed it in our Faces for Half an Hour
  18. Lazard May Go Down Like the Titanic
  19. Bid-'em-up Bruce
  20. Civil War
  21. The End of a Dynasty[4]


Cohan, who once worked at Lazard, tells a sprawling, gossip-filled tale about the firm, the careful cultivation of its lustrous reputation and, in the last decade or so, that reputation’s apparent undoing. It is far from an epic tragedy — the story is, after all, about money and its most avid pursuers. Moreover, in dollar terms, Lazard — however dimmed its reputation — is seemingly thriving as never before, its stock price having doubled in the past two years. But Cohan’s portrayal of the firm’s dominant partners — whose gargantuan appetites and mercurial habits provide the unifying force behind the book’s operatic melodramas — makes this an epic in its own way. In fact, “The Last Tycoons” bears a striking resemblance to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon. Fitzgerald set his novel in Hollywood, and described lives, temperaments and ambitions that closely approximate those of Lazard’s most important figures. Of course, Cohan isn’t Fitzgerald. After 700 pages, many will come away feeling the bank’s story might work better as a tale told by Hollywood — a French-accented “Dynasty” meets “What Makes Sammy Run?

The New York Times[5]

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