Kai is a Senior Vice President at Lazard Asset Management, Frankfurt
How did you come to join Lazard?
Before I went to university, I completed a banking apprenticeship where I quickly realized my interest in capital markets. I was fascinated by the brand and history of Lazard and landed a summer internship in the Frankfurt office. I started my career at Lazard, but I also developed professionally here, as I continued working while a student and returned full-time as an Associate after gaining my Master of Sciences.
What is the most exciting and rewarding part of your job?
It’s the combination of markets and people. Markets are dynamic and challenging; they require flexibility and continuous change as environments shift. On the other hand, client relationships are strategic and long-lasting, demanding close personal bonds. Bringing these two aspects together, and adding value through individual client solutions, delivers challenges and rewards every single day.
The pace of the market, especially at that time in Tokyo, was thrilling and the desk was so busy that I was given clients from day one. The team with whom I worked were supportive, entertaining and enlightening. Tokyo, which didn’t have an off switch, was an incredibly alive, exciting place to live for a 21-year-old.
What advice would you share with someone considering a career at Lazard?
Identify with Lazard and immerse yourself in its culture. There’s so much you can gain here by being passionate, curious and willing to learn from the extraordinary knowledge of experienced colleagues. But you will also find yourself contributing as you form your own views and assume responsibility; engage with colleagues globally and share ideas and advice.
What is unique about Lazard?
First, the brand and its long, distinguished history combine to provide a global perspective backed by local knowledge from its offices in the world’s major financial cities. Second, its business model has two clear focuses: Financial Advisory and Asset Management, both of which have clients at the center.
Third, its people and culture: Lazard is a diverse, inclusive, and international environment. You can learn from some of the smartest people in the industry, developing your potential to its fullest. Looking at my own sector, it’s the way we interact with institutional clients, prioritizing long-term partnerships over short-term deal making and customized solutions instead of product selling. Thought leadership, trusted advice and a human touch are the bases for all interactions here and throughout Lazard.