Lazard names insider Jacobs as CEO and chairman

AP News
Posted: Nov 17, 2009 10:51 AM

Lazard Ltd. on Tuesday appointed Kenneth M. Jacobs as CEO and chairman, choosing a longtime executive at the investment advisory firm to fill vacancies from last month's sudden death of Chairman and CEO Bruce Wasserstein.

Jacobs, 51, joined Lazard in 1988 and most recently served as CEO of Lazard's North American business, a position he assumed in 2002. Jacobs also began serving as deputy chairman that year, and he was named a partner at New York-based Lazard in 1991.

Jacobs' appointment at CEO and chairman is effective immediately.

Steven J. Golub, who was named interim CEO after Wasserstein's death on Oct. 14, will continue as Lazard's vice chairman, and as chairman of its financial advisory group.

Golub has been with Lazard since 1984 and served in various senior leadership positions, including as chief financial officer.

Lazard's board said in a statement that Jacobs was unanimously selected to replace Wasserstein, who died at age 61 after being hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat.

Wasserstein was a prominent Wall Street dealmaker who helped negotiate some of the largest corporate takeovers in history. He joined Lazard in 2002 with a mission to turn the investment bank around and make it more competitive against bigger firms like Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley. He took the company public in May 2005.

Lazard on Tuesday also announced the appointments of two board members, effective Jan. 4: Ashish Bhutani, 49, and Gary W. Parr, 52. Bhutani will continue to serve as CEO of Lazard Asset Management.

Steven J. Heyer, 57, a director on Lazard's board since 2005, has been named to the new board position of lead director, effective immediately. Also, Antonio Weiss, 43, has been appointed global head of investment banking.

Lazard, which traces its origins back to 1848, provides advice on mergers and acquisitions and other matters of corporate strategy, as well as asset management.