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A Multinational Perspective

Lazard's roots began in the 1840s with the emigration of five French brothers and several cousins to the United States. In 1848, Alexandre, Lazare, and Simon Lazard founded Lazard Frères & Co. in New Orleans as a dry goods merchant.

By 1851, Lazard Frères had moved to San Francisco, where it would expand into banking and foreign exchange. In the same year, one of the brothers opened a New York office. In 1854, Lazard Frères opened an office in Paris. It soon began advising the French government on gold buying. In 1870, the family opened an office in London.


Alexandre, Lazare, and Simon Lazard, brothers from France, establish Lazard Frères as a dry goods business in New Orleans


Lazard Frères begins to engage in banking activities


Simon Lazard, with two other brothers, Maurice and Elie, move Lazard Frères to San Francisco. Alexandre Lazard opens an office in New York City


Alexandre Lazard moves to Paris and establishes Lazard Frères et Cie

Early Growth

A Business Based On Relationships

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 enhanced their cross-border network of relationships in business and government.

An early cross-border success came in 1928, when the French office partnered with American investors to purchase and expand the financing arm of Citroen, the French automaker. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Lazard mobilized its network again to help save Citroen from bankruptcy.


The Banking House of Lazard Frères is formally established as a family-run firm with a head office in Paris (Lazard Frères et Cie) and a branch in San Francisco


The bank opens a London branch office, called Lazard Brothers, and begins to establish correspondent offices around the world


The New York City branch of The Banking House of Lazard Frères is established

The 20th Century

A Culture Of Accomplishment

Some of the greatest names in 20th century finance established and enhanced Lazard's reputation in the economic recovery following World War II. They included André Meyer, widely regarded as a genius of investment banking; Michel David-Weill, who oversaw the firm's transformation into a mergers and acquisitions powerhouse; and Felix Rohatyn, whose many accomplishments include his pivotal role in saving New York City from bankruptcy in 1975.

In the latter part of the century, Lazard expanded into new markets around the world, becoming a global force in financial advisory and asset management services. As the firm grew, Lazard fostered a unique culture that encourages individual initiative and discourages bureaucracy.


U.K. restrictions on foreign ownership force Lazard to sell controlling stake of London branch. The firm effectively becomes three houses: Lazard Frères et Cie, Lazard Frères & Co. (Lazard New York), and Lazard Brothers


Lazard New York ceases commercial banking activities after enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act, and commits to financial advisory services


Lazard Investors Ltd begins asset management operations in London


Lazard Asset Management is formed


A new entity, Lazard Partners, is formed to control the three Houses of Lazard

The 21st Century

Evolving With Clients

In 2000, after more than 150 years of separate management, the Houses of Lazard formally united into a single entity to best serve our clients. In 2005, under the leadership of Bruce Wasserstein, Lazard became a public company, with nearly two-thirds of its shares owned by current and former employees. Since November 2009, Kenneth M. Jacobs has led the firm.

Lazard's history is engrained in its culture. To this day, Lazard operates as a local firm in local markets, but serves clients with multinational resources and global perspective.


The Houses of Lazard unite to form Lazard LLC


After 157 years as a private partnership, Lazard becomes a public firm, listing on the New York Stock Exchange as LAZ


Still expanding its global network of relationships, Lazard has offices in 41 cities across 26 countries

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