Lazard Limited, incorporated on October 2004, is an international financial advisory and asset management firm that has specialized in crafting solutions to the financial and strategic challenges of the clients. During the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company had served a range of clients globally, including corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and high-net worth individuals. The Company operates in two business segments: Financial Advisory and Asset Management. On August 13, 2007, the Company completed the acquisition of Goldsmith, Agio, Helms and Lynner, LLC (GAHL). On July 31, 2007, the Company completed the acquisition of Carnegie, Wylie and Company (Holdings) PTY Limited (CWC). On January 31, 2008, the Company completed the acquisition of 50% interest in Merchant Bankers Asociados (MBA).
The Company offers corporate, partnership, institutional, government and individual clients across the globe a range of financial advisory services regarding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and strategic advisory matters, restructurings and capital structure advisory services, capital raising and various other corporate finance matters. In 2008, the financial advisory segment accounted for approximately 66% of the total revenues for the Company. The Company advise clients on a range of strategic and financial issues. It may advise as to the timing, structure, financing and pricing of a proposed acquisition and assist in negotiating and closing the acquisition. The Company may assist in executing an acquisition by acting as a dealer-manager in transactions structured as a tender or exchange offer.
When the Company advises clients that are contemplating the sale of certain businesses, assets or their entire company, the services include advising on the appropriate sales process for the situation, valuation issues, assisting in preparing an offering circular or other appropriate sales materials and rendering, if appropriate, fairness opinions. The Company also identify and contact selected qualified acquirors and assist in negotiating and closing the proposed sale. It also advises the clients regarding financial and strategic alternatives to a sale including recapitalizations, spin-offs, carve-outs, split-offs and tracking stocks. The advice includes recommendations with respect to the structure, timing and pricing of these alternatives.
For companies in financial distress, the services of the Company include reviewing and analyzing the business, operations, properties, financial condition and prospects of the Company, evaluating debt capacity, assisting in the determination of an appropriate capital structure and evaluating and recommending financial and strategic alternatives, including providing advice on dividend policy. It may also provide financial advice and assistance in developing and seeking approval of a restructuring or reorganization plan, which may include a plan of reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code or other similar court administered processes in non-United States jurisdictions.
When the Company assist the clients in raising private or public market financing, the services include originating and executing private placements of equity, debt and related securities, assisting clients in connection with securing, refinancing or restructuring bank loans, originating public underwritings of equity, debt and convertible securities and originating and executing private placements of partnership and similar interests in alternative investment funds such as leveraged buyout, mezzanine or real estate focused funds. In addition, Lazard may advise on capital structure and assist in long-range capital planning and rating agency relationships.
The Asset Management business provides investment management and advisory services to institutional clients, financial intermediaries, private clients and investment vehicles globally. In 2008, the total assets under management (AUM) were $91 billion, of which approximately 77% was invested in equities, 14% in fixed income, 3% in alternative investments, 4% in cash and 2% in private equity funds. In 2008, approximately 39% of the AUM was invested in international investment strategies, 41% were invested in global investment strategies and 20% was invested in United States investment strategies. In 2008, approximately, 85% of the AUM was managed on behalf of institutional clients, including corporations, labor unions, public pension funds, insurance companies and banks, and through sub-advisory relationships, mutual fund sponsors, broker-dealers and registered advisors, and approximately 15% of the AUM was managed on behalf of individual client relationships, which are principally with family offices and high-net worth individuals.
The Company distributes the products, through a range of marketing channels on a global basis. In addition, the Company manage assets for insurance companies, savings and trust banks, endowments, foundations and charities.
The Company competes with Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman, Sachs & Co., JPMorgan Chase, Mediobanca, Morgan Stanley, Rothschild, UBS, The Blackstone Group, Evercore Partners and Greenhill and Co., Alliance Bernstein, AMVESCAP, Brandes Investment Partners, Capital Management & Research, Fidelity, Lord Abbett and Schroders.