Archie Norman joins Lazard as adviser

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The Independent Online

Archie Norman, former boss of the food retailer Asda, is to join the investment bank Lazard as a senior adviser from 1 January.

Mr Norman, who is also the Conservative MP for Tunbridge Wells, will give the bank and its most favoured clients advice on corporate strategy, after building a career as a high-profile businessman.

Mr Norman was a management consultant at McKinsey before becoming finance director of the do-it-yourself giant Kingfisher. In the 1990s he revamped the fortunes of the supermarket chain Asda and then sold it to America's Wal-Mart. Mr Norman will work for up to a day a week at Lazard, fitting it in with being chairman of the telecoms group Energis and a non-executive director of Holmes Place, the health clubs group.

Lazard has been beefing its senior staff in London in the past few weeks, including poaching two former Citigroup bankers, Will Samuel and Richard Wyatt.

Lazard, which traditionally has marketed itself to clients on the basis that its corporate finance advice is untainted by other relationships with clients, is now trying to buy the broker Panmure Gordon

The bank hopes the move would boost its mergers and acquisitions fees by bringing in work via companies it would act as broker to. Lazard hopes to pay less than £10m for Panmure, which is being sold by the German bank WestLB.

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