Lazards combines global houses

THE INVESTMENT banking group, Lazard Freres, said yesterday that it is to combine its operations in London, Paris and New York in order to compete more effectively for global business. The change will take place over the next six to nine months.

The 150-year-old firm, controlled by the family of French financier Michel David-Weill, is currently made up of three Lazard houses, each with a different ownership structure. After the change a seven-member management committee led by Mr David-Weill, 66, will govern the firm. Lazards employs 2,500 worldwide, 1,100 of them in New York. It made record profits of $300m (pounds 186m) last year.

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