Ken Jacobs expected to stand down as CEO of Lazard

Ken Jacobs, the longstanding chief government of Lazard, is predicted to depart his put up on the impartial funding financial institution and hand the reins to his deputy Peter Orszag, stated folks briefed on the matter.

His pending departure comes weeks after Lazard introduced it will reduce greater than 300 workers, a few tenth of its workforce, following a deep deal droop that Jacobs has advised analysts would persist into 2024.

Jacobs has admitted that his earlier optimism a few deal rebound had been misplaced as a consequence of an unsure financial atmosphere. Between 2019 and 2022, the agency’s managing director roster grew from 163 to 212.

Jacobs had lengthy insisted that the areas Lazard operates in — deal recommendation and asset administration — have been the 2 greatest companies on Wall Avenue however each have slipped in recent times.

Its storied M&A franchise has additionally come below strain from US upstarts reminiscent of Centerview Companions, Evercore and PJT Companions, which turned extremely profitable within the aftermath of the monetary disaster when massive corporations have been more and more comfy hiring boutique banks for profitable assignments.

Europe’s financial wobbles after the continent’s debt crises greater than a decade in the past have harm Lazard’s companies there as effectively.

The aggressive challenges come amid the departures of star rainmakers together with Antonio Weiss, Gary Parr and Matthieu Pigasse. In the meantime, Lazard’s cash administration enterprise has been hit by the shift in asset flows to passive investing funds.

Lazard’s share value is down practically a fifth this 12 months and trades simply above the value of its 2005 preliminary public providing.

Orszag, a outstanding economist who served within the Obama administration, joined Lazard in 2016 after a stint at Citigroup and leads Lazard’s funding banking arm.

Jacobs is extensively credited with steering the notoriously fractious agency after the 2009 loss of life of its then famed head Bruce Wasserstein. The recession that adopted the good monetary disaster had left the financial institution, which was closely indebted, in a financially susceptible place.

“One of the crucial consequential obligations of any board is to make sure a clean transition of management. We’ve got a succession plan that we have now had in place for fairly a while and our plan is on observe,” stated Richard Parsons, Lazard’s lead director.

The agency declined to remark additional on Jacobs’ impending departure, which was first reported by The Wall Avenue Journal. 

Jacobs joined Lazard from Goldman Sachs within the Nineteen Nineties as a mid-level banker and rapidly established himself as one of many prime dealmakers on Wall Avenue earlier than turning into a prime deputy to Wasserstein, who joined at a time of inner turmoil in 2001.

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