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Lazard gets in on the boutique MD hiring craze

After a very disappointing first quarter for boutique investment bank Lazard, second quarter revenues show signs of a promising recovery, rising 18% quarter-on-quarter. M&A revenues are up 26% while asset management revenues have remained steady, rising less than a percent.

The top story out of Lazard in 2023 has been its restructuring efforts, cutting juniors while hiring for a new capital markets team. In the earnings conference call, new CEO Peter Orszag revealed that Lazard is still looking for senior bankers, but it's getting very picky about who it wants. 

"We are actively in discussions about recruiting high productivity managing directors," Orszag said, noting that there were a "variety of sectors where we see plenty of opportunities for expansion." Despite the asset management division's seemingly stagnant performance, Orszag says "both sides of the business see significant room for expansion."

Lazard isn't disclosing how many people have been cut so far, with Orszag saying it's keeping the figures until the end of the year "given the pace of departures in different jurisdictions." We do know that more than one MD has left the company in the quarter. However, those that are still sticking around may be starting to reap the benefits again, as compensation in this quarter rose 27% from the previous one and up 57% year-on-year.

Senior hiring is the hot ticket among boutique banks this year. Moelis is calling 2023 its "most consequential year ever" for senior hiring, while Evercore claims it "has done more external hiring at the Senior Managing Director level than at any time in the Firm’s history."

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AUTHORAlex McMurray Editor

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