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Overview

Introduction

 

Lazard is one of the world’s most prestigious investment banking firms. Its well-known M&A group has advised on some of the largest, most complex M&A deals of the past 100 years. Lazard’s excellent internship program allows interns to work on live deals alongside senior bankers and clients. Lazard excels at mentorship and individual development, giving its full-time bankers clear guidance on their strengths and areas for development. Lean deal teams offer a lot of responsibility.

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Featured Rankings

Vault Banking 25...


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Major Office Locations

New York, NY...


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Employment Contact

Kristin Brandt...

Firsthand Findings

 

One of the most prestigious investment banking firms on Wall Street, Lazard is looking for hardworking, ambitious, open-minded, intelligent, analytical candidates with a passion for business and financial analysis. Lazard highly values candidates who work well in teams and perform well under pressure. For students, Lazard runs a very valuable internship program during which interns work on live deals alongside senior bankers and clients. Interns are involved in active projects and transactions, and take on as much responsibility as they’re capable of. They get real responsibilities from day one, and are exposed to financial modelling and transaction processes. In addition, for Lazard’s New York M&A and restructuring groups, the internship is struct...

About the Company

Founded in 1848, Lazard has advised on some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions in Europe and the Americas since the beginning of the 20th century. The firm's modern history can be traced to the year 2000, when the "three houses of Lazard" (based in New York, Paris and London) formally united as one partnership. The firm went public in 2005 and today is the largest advisory-focused investment bank, with offices in 43 cities across 27 countries. The firm is led by Kenneth Jacobs, its chairman and CEO, and employs approximately 3,000 people globally.

Lazard has two businesses: financial advisory and asset management (each accounts for approximately 50 percent of the firm's revenues). The financial advisory business advises companies, boards, governments and sovereign entities on M&A tr...

Employee Reviews


  • “Working on interesting work will require intense hours. While the firm emphasizes limiting weekend work, when you’re on an intense project as a junior banker you’ll be challenged to maintain a good lifestyle. With that said, the small team sizes allow you to feel comfortable telling your MDs which events you won’t skip for any reason, even in the middle of the most intense projects. In terms of client interaction, you’ll be the face of your deal team as an associate or VP and be very close to the client. As an associate, you’ll feel very close to your MDs and work with them directly all the time. Vacation is encouraged, but you need to pick your spots. If you go away in the middle of an intense transaction, you’ll end up having to work during vacation.”
  • “Vacations are generally protected, and all bankers take a number of weeks off every year. I have personally always taken my full vacation allowance, even if I had to work a bit sometimes while being away. Weekends are also much better protected nowadays, with real considerations for personal lives. There has been significant improvement in work/life quality over the past few years, as the firm is much more focused on retaining talent and providing a great experience to all bankers. Flexibility around workplace setting will probably become a standard going forward, following the pandemic experience. However, investment banking remains investment banking, and new joiners can’t expect to work 9 to 5 every day. Workload remains heavy, with sometimes long nights and weekend work.”
  • “Lazard presumes that you’re an adult and can best manage your work requirements with your personal life. As long as work is done on time and to a high quality, bankers are afforded a lot of freedom. Projects are typically complex and of great importance to the client (mergers, restructurings, activism, etc.), so there’s a lot of excitement and purpose around what we’re doing. The firm is made up of really interesting people from diverse backgrounds—law, politics, former executives, etc.—who value what we each can bring. Diversity of backgrounds and of views are celebrated and help provide different perspectives to clients.”
  • “The best aspect is that everyone recognizes the issues and works pretty hard to make everyone else’s life manageable. The firm’s people have a great deal of respect for one another, which makes the work/life issue workable. The most challenging aspect is related to what we do—strategic advisory businesses are time consuming. Transactions move rapidly and require significant attention. When you have deals to do, they have to take priority, and that means sacrificing both certainty over your schedule and time to do other things.”
  • “Lazard has highly competitive compensation packages. Any deferred compensation can be invested in either Lazard stock or a series of Lazard-managed mutual funds, which provide an attractive alternative for consideration.”
  • “Top performers are relatively well paid vs. bulge brackets and boutique firms. However, average-performer compensation is probably more in line with average bulge brackets as opposed to top boutiques. Perks are quite good, but I believe they may be standard for the industry.”
  • “Competitive salary levels and market perks (401(k) matching, flexible deferred compensation investment options, gym reimbursements, etc.). Bonus levels are in-line with the broader peer universe.”
  • “At the junior levels, there’s a balance between having a competitive comp structure and providing some differentiation for performance. Lots of thought and effort goes into the process, even though the differentiation is typically relatively small.”
  • “Lazard excels at mentorship and individual development. Each team knows its employees extremely well, and employees get clear guidance on their strengths and areas for development. Furthermore, Lazard’s mentor culture means that everyone is challenged professionally while also receiving the guidance and backup to feel comfortable with the constant progress. Given the small teams, it can be harder to transfer internally, because each person becomes so integral to their own group. It's a dual-edged sword—on the one hand you develop quickly, on the other hand you become hard to replace, so there are fewer opportunities to transfer or explore other areas of the firm. This is an area that Lazard is currently working on, and I expect that we’ll see increased flexibility in future years.”
  • “At Lazard, there’s no concept of too much responsibility for an associate. You get as much as you can handle and then some—the development opportunities are endless. You’re constantly interacting directly with clients and managing all aspects of live transactions as if you have a more senior title than you do. You’ll be expected to know the model and valuation process and communicate with senior bankers with full confidence. If you want exposure to all aspects of M&A/advisory, you’ll get more than you asked for. There’s nowhere to hide. At times, the responsibility can be challenging and leave you feeling like you lack a safety net, but if responsibility is what you’re looking for, I can't imagine getting more exposure anywhere else.”
  • “Investment banking continues to be an apprentice business, and Lazard provides excellent opportunities for bankers to become experts in the field as the firm has strong strategic advisory relationships with many of the world's leading companies. On the other hand, as an advisory-focused firm, Lazard offers comparatively fewer opportunities to spend significant time with capital markets-related transactions. The firm could probably augment its formal training regime with this in mind.”
  • “I moved twice internationally—from Paris to London and then to New York. Many other people in my group got the chance to work for one year abroad, in addition to working often on international projects with different offices globally. The promotion process until the director level is relatively clear, and the firm sets up good guidance on how best to manage one’s career development objectives. I would not say that changing from one industry/product group to another is super simple, but there are possibilities to do so—especially at the junior level, from a product to an industry team, if you want to get more exposure across the firm.”
  • “Lazard does a good job trying to hire a diverse group, but it doesn’t always translate into a fully diverse workforce. Part of the challenge is that most of our hiring is targeted at analysts that mostly leave after a few years.”
  • “We could do better to thoughtfully recruit traditionally underrepresented groups to front-office positions. However, the company is dedicated and making genuine efforts to improve in this area.”
  • “Resources, management support, and priorities are all well-established across the board for diversity, philanthropic, and green practices. LGBTQ+ and philanthropic efforts are well-established and a strong part of Lazard's culture. We’re in the early stages when it comes to gender and racial diversity initiatives—still a long way to go. The women’s network has been around for some time but is led by senior bankers and needs more internal support.”
  • “Lazard has made great recent strides on community elements. Recently, it set up the Lazard Foundation, which supports targeted charities and matches employee donations to their causes of choice. The firm also offered incremental matching programs for COVID causes and social justice causes. It was a great way to do good for our broader community, and one that many people took advantage of. We have multiple committees and groups focused on sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices. It’s a crucial area of focus at present. We’re in early days on this front, and I’m excited to see further progress in coming months on clear sustainability guidelines and recommendations.”
  • “The nice thing about Lazard is that while we’re small, we’re focused on multiple business lines. This particularly helps us during volatile times. Our robust restructuring practice nicely complements our M&A business. During the early days of Covid, we were able to lead with our restructuring business, which was a major benefit. Similarly, having Lazard Asset Management as such a crucial business is also beneficial. It makes us less reliant on volatile M&A fees and gives us a nice counter-weight in steady asset management fees.”
  • “We’ll likely develop strong relationships from the Covid-related restructuring work that we’re doing. Our restructuring strength has facilitated a number of conversations that otherwise might have been more competitive. Our group has a lot of M&A in the pipeline that we’ve started working on in the past few months, and we’ll continue to execute on these mandates in addition to the RX-related deals that come in the second wave.”
  • “Our group is strong from a revenue generation perspective, offering a range of leading advisory services in strong markets (M&A, capital advisory, etc.) with an ability to outperform in distressed markets (liability management and restructuring). Employees are offered world-class exposure and experience with an opportunity to be well compensated for strong performers, but the intensity and workload can cause turnover at the junior level.”
  • “Lazard does best in changing times. And we, as a world, are in changing times. Clients hire Lazard to help them with complex problems where thoughtful advice from bankers with deep experience and expertise is required. We have a great market position, the best professionals, and great relationships. We should be able to take advantage of opportunities.”
  • “The internship gave a great view of what the job would really look like. If you proved you could manage responsibility, the firm was willing to give it to you. You were treated as if you were a true member of deal teams to the extent that was within your skill set. There is a lot of senior exposure in specific summer associate lunches and evening events. Attending the events on occasion was challenging given the workload, but it was great to spend time with very senior members of the firm (CEO, CFO, Senior Advisors, etc.).”
  • “Great deal experience. From day one, I was put on a live deal, which continued for the duration of my internship. Working on the deal gave me great insight into my group, and seeing my deal in the news felt great.”
  • “Fully involved in active projects and transactions with the rest of the team. Real responsibilities from day one. Exposure to financial modelling and transaction processes. Real involvement also means potentially heavy workloads, but there’s generally a genuine focus on protecting summer analysts and junior bankers.”
  • “Tremendous learning curve and early responsibility with a constant and high flow of transactions. Significant access to senior bankers and clients. Small, intimate program with small teams and real team dynamic and ethos. Trade off was significant workloads and pressure.”

Wellness Efforts

  • “Recent push to increase wellness options has been well received. Lazard offers regular yoga classes, workout classes, cooking classes, counseling resources, financial wellness workshops, and speaker series.”
  • “Much effort has been made over the past few years. We’re constantly being offered a wide range of wellness benefits (desk yoga, mental health checkups, gym reimbursements, nutrition counseling, etc.). This emanates from the very top.”
  • “Wellness programs are offered through the firm, but I always elect to pursue my own. I’ve felt supported in pursuing these things.”
  • “Tons of resources available. Lazard greatly expanded the number of wellness offerings during the pandemic and made them much more visible.”

 

Response to Anti-Racist Protests and BLM Movement

  • “We've established a Slack channel dedicated to discussing current issues facing the black community. Regular calls and video conferences for both the African-American affinity group and also a group for allies. Implementing a regular speaker series, too.”
  • “The firm made excellent efforts during 2020 in discussing race and social justice. We held firmwide town halls, led by the most senior leaders, and individual groups had open, honest conversations across all levels. We also held symposiums with social justice leaders like Attorney General Eric Holder with clients, and the firm provided double matching for contributions employees made to social justice organizations, putting its money where its mouth was. One of my analysts was astounded that the head of banking would call him personally to see how he was doing and to solicit his views on what we could do to help him.”
  • “A quick and genuine firmwide response. Lazard immediately reacted and organized firmwide events to discuss recent events and discuss our reaction to them. It was immensely helpful to understand the issues and how to best address them today and going forward. I’m proud of Lazard for taking a stand, and for so quickly mustering the firm to do better and be better in many ways.”
  • “Multiple town halls, strong statement from CEO, enhanced matching for donations, support groups, additional support to Black affinity group, etc.”

Response to Covid-19

  • “I believe Lazard handled the pandemic response properly. We were very quick to implement new technologies and set employees up well for the work from home environment. We made sure that people felt comfortable and had what they needed to do their jobs well. And the results spoke for themselves. Many of us were surprised by how seamlessly we were able to transition into a remote environment. It shows the amazing flexibility and teamwork at Lazard among offices and groups. It also shows the drive and talent of our bankers at every level to pull this off.”
  • “The firm went all out to first ensure safety. The firm then made extreme efforts to improve the remote working experience by enhancing technology, increasing firmwide interactions (Zoom meetings, external speakers, more content on website, firmwide contests, etc.) and encouraging much more intense group-level interactions.”
  • “Our firm handled the pandemic response very well. The transition to working from home was smooth overall, and the firm reimbursed us for home office supplies. The allowance was not very high but better than nothing. Firm leadership has been transparent about how they’re thinking about back-to-office and future work arrangements, and honest where they still don't know the answers. In the immediate weeks following the initial lockdown, it was hard not to think at times that our well-being was an afterthought. This was corrected after the dust settled following the initial chaos around lockdown.”
  • “Work-from-home has been successful beyond expectation. All facets of our business are functioning with limited issues, and client service remains top-notch.”

Getting Hired Here


  • “First and foremost, we’re focused on team players who will work well with others. This is absolutely crucial for succeeding at Lazard. Second, we want people who are interested in the work we do and passionate about learning how to do it. Finally, a good attitude goes a long way! This is a people business at the end of the day, and that’s something we focus on throughout the interview process. We can train many things, but we often can’t train someone how to be a good addition to a team.”
  • “For analysts, there’s a resume screen, followed by a 30-minute phone screen, followed by a Superday, which typically includes four 30-minute interviews with different bankers. For associates, the standard business school process is followed: many interactions over several months, ultimately leading to a 30-minute in-person interview and a Superday similarly composed of four separate interviews.”
  • “At Lazard, you’re asked to take ownership of everything that you work on, taking personal responsibility of critical assets. Lazard values critical thinking and an ability to explain complicated analysis clearly and professionally. As an analyst or associate, you’ll be working directly with clients, and Lazard wants to make sure you’ll represent the firm well when put in that position.”
  • “We’re seeking hardworking, top-of-class candidates with a passion for business and financial analysis. We value people who work well in teams and perform well under pressure. We want individuals who are ambitious, client-focused, and sensitive to the evolving needs of clients in terms of diversity and stakeholder values. Open-minded, progressive, intelligent, analytical, and questioning are key personality aspects we value.”
  • “Standard technical questions, but often phrased in a way that will test whether the candidate has simply memorized the answers to common questions or understands the underlying concepts. For example, rather than ‘Walk me through a DCF,’ we might ask how a specific change in some item would flow through the model and ultimately affect the valuation. We also ask behavioral questions to test a candidate’s ethics, morals, leadership ability, and ability to be coached.”
  • “You’re given the financial statements and public information for company Y, what would you look for in order to understand whether it presents a good distressed opportunity or not? Tell me about a time when you failed at something and what you learned about yourself from it?”
  • “Mostly behavioral, with some questions on valuation methodologies. What’s the difference between EV/EBITDA and P/E ratios? What are your greatest strengths/weaknesses? Tell me more about your experience with X internship.”
  • “Why Lazard? Why does our model appeal to you? What can I tell you about the firm or what I do that would help you make a decision? Outside of investment banking, what other careers are you considering?”

Perks & Benefits