Paris-based investment bank

Lazard

expects to raise up to $823 million in a soon-to-be-completed initial public offering.

The IPO from Lazard is one of the most eagerly anticipated in the financial services sector in several years. The public offering is the culmination of a long battle by Bruce Wasserstein, the firm's leader, to take Lazard public.

In a regulatory filing Monday, Lazard said it plans to sell 30.5 million shares for $25 to $27 a share. The company plans to trade on the

New York Stock Exchange

under the ticker symbol LAZ.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

is the lead underwriter on the offering. Other investment banks on the deal include

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

,

Merrill Lynch

(MER)

and

Morgan Stanley

(MWD)

.

Much of the proceeds from the offering will be used by Lazard to buy out the equity interests of the firm's historical partners.

The 156-year-old investment firm announced plans to go public last December.