Lazard names Ken Jacobs as new boss

LAZARD yesterday named insider Kenneth Jacobs as chief executive and chairman, succeeding legendary Wall Street dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein, who died last month.<br /><br />The move was widely expected and signals the investment bank is not seeking to change its focus on merger advisory and restructuring, analysts said. <br /><br />Jacobs, 51, has been with the firm since 1998 and was named a partner in 1991 and deputy chairman in 2002. An experienced dealmaker, he has worked on transactions for clients including GlaxoSmithKline and IBM. <br /><br />The Lazard board of directors said: &ldquo;Bruce Wasserstein was an extraordinary leader for the firm and an iconic figure for the industry... We unanimously selected Jacobs based on the balance of his vision, intellect and dynamism, his creativity building new businesses, his skills as a trusted advisor, collaborator and team leader, as well as his track record of client focus, growth, and operational excellence.<br /><br />Lazard said Steven Golub, interim chief executive since Wasserstein&rsquo;s death, will continue as Lazard vice chairman and chairman of its financial advisory group. Deputy chairman Gary Parr will become director and vice chairman. <br /><br />Lazard also announced yesterday that Ashish Bhutani, who is chief of Lazard Asset Management, will become a director and vice chairman. Steven Heyer, a director since Lazard&rsquo;s initial public offering in 2005, will become lead director. Antonio Weiss was named global head of investment banking. <br /><br />Jacobs will work in partnership with Weiss and Alex Stern, 43, who was recently named chief operating officer, and the existing banking leadership in Europe and the US.