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.
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".
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.