“Clients value Lazard’s independent advice, global reach and innovative solutions,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. “In Financial Advisory, our mergers and acquisitions revenue is up for the year in a period of reduced market activity. In Asset Management, our globally diversified mix of clients and investment platforms is a powerful contributor to growth.”
“We are focused on revenue growth, cost discipline and effective use of capital to build shareholder value,” said Mr. Jacobs. “The firm is better positioned than it has ever been and we are freeing up resources so we can reach our targets, retain and attract the best people, and make investments for long-term growth.”
“We are making progress toward our operating margin target of 25% in 2014,” said Matthieu Bucaille, Chief Financial Officer of Lazard. “We have achieved our goal of returning $200 million in excess cash to shareholders earlier than our year-end 2013 target.”
“We are implementing cost saving initiatives to reduce the firm’s expense base and enhance our operating leverage. These include streamlining our support functions and eliminating investments in areas of low return. We expect these initiatives to result in approximately $125 million in annual savings from our existing cost base, with related implementation expenses primarily in the fourth quarter of this year,” said Mr. Bucaille. “We believe these initiatives will improve profitability with minimal impact on Lazard’s revenue growth.”OPERATING REVENUE Financial Advisory In the text portion of this press release, we present our Financial Advisory results as Strategic Advisory and Restructuring. Strategic Advisory includes M&A, Sovereign and Government Advisory, Capital Markets, Lazard Middle Market, Private Funds and Other Advisory businesses. Third Quarter Financial Advisory operating revenue was $220 million, 13% lower than the third quarter of 2011, reflective of lower market activity levels.