Lazard makes big gains in spite of doldrums in M&A markets

Tim Wallace
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LAZARD squeezed healthy growth out of a weak mergers and acquisitions market by capitalising on its mid-market specialisms, the US investment bank said yesterday.

Net income came in at $59.8m (£39m) in the second quarter, up 81 per cent on the $33.1m made in the same period of 2012.

M&A advisory revenues drove much of the change, rising 12 per cent on the year to $218.5m. And its strategic advisory operations brought in another $240m in the quarter, up 13 per cent.

Asset management fees increased 12 per cent from $195.2m to $217.7m, while incentive fees also increased from $3.7m to $15.8m.

But the bank kept a tight rein on costs, with pay up eight per cent to $306.9m, cutting the ratio of compensation to operating revenue from 62.7 per cent to 60 per cent.

“As we continue to invest for growth, we are maintaining our discipline on expenses,” said chief financial officer Matthieu Bucaille.

“Expenses associated with the implementation of our cost saving initiatives are complete, and our financial results are beginning to show the benefit of a lower cost base.”

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