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Michel David-Weill


Watch Video of an Interview with Michel David-Weill

It is with great sadness that we learned this morning of the passing of Michel David-Weill.

His presence, his leadership, his vision, define Lazard today.

Committed to excellence, skeptical of conventional wisdom, and a true renaissance man, Michel created the modern Lazard. 

Michel was born in 1932. He graduated from Sciences Po (The Paris Institute of Political Studies) and joined the firm in 1956. Michel was appointed Senior Partner of the Paris partnership in 1975 and, upon the death of Andre Meyer in 1979, he became Senior Partner of the New York partnership. Over the course of the next three decades, he unified, globalized and led Lazard until 2002.

Michel had a vision for Lazard to be the preeminent Haute Banque, focused on advising the leading companies, institutions and individuals of the world on the financial affairs that mattered most to them, with an uncompromising commitment to excellence.

Michel had an undiscriminating and unmatched eye for identifying talent; recruiting and developing many of the most iconic bankers and investors of his and succeeding generations. 

While competing firms with august histories disappeared one after another in financial centers across the world during the rapid evolution of the markets throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Michel steered Lazard with unerring steadiness. He was dedicated to preserving Lazard’s legacy as a firm committed to providing advice to clients without the conflicts and risks that arise from being in the trading and lending businesses.

Michel understood the importance of a global perspective, yet he keenly valued the primacy of local knowledge. He had a clarity of thought that came from a curious and inquiring mind that had no fear. And there was always a twinkle in his eye that let you know how much he enjoyed life.

We extend our thoughts and condolences to his family and everyone who was touched by this truly extraordinary man.

Ken Jacobs


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