A punk rock-loving, video game-playing left-winger is not whom you’d expect to be chief executive at a major branch of a 166-year-old financial advisory and asset management firm.
However, that sums up precisely Matthieu Pigasse, the CEO of Lazard France and a “self-marketed rock star of finance”, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pigasse is leading the firm’s team advising the new anti-austerity government in Athens. Greece’s economic woes are well known to Pigasse; he led the Lazard group that advised Athens on its 2012 debt haircut. Now the 46-year-old guitar player is at the biggest gig in Europe.
Some of Pigasse’s statements could read straight from the radical Syriza’s anti-establishment rhetoric.
He has spoken of leading a social revolution against the “conservative status quo” and has cast himself as a 21st-century Robin Hood. He told the Financial Times: “I take from bankers and give back to countries; an important part of my job is to advise governments around the world against the financial establishment.”
Apart from playing Call of Duty into the wee hours, and owning the original cover of The Clash’s London Calling – for which he paid an estimated £100,000 – Pigasse co-owns the left-leaning French newspaper Le Monde.
So, for a man who appears to want to have been Joe Strummer, he seems to like a good clash with authority.