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Awards for Excellence 2014: Best independent investment bank

A more cohesive, flatter management structure has kept the venerable investment bank ahead of its challengers.

Best independent investment bank:


Also shortlisted:
  Ondra Partners
  Moelis & Co

View more 2014 awards

As the recovery in mergers and acquisitions activity accelerated at the start of this year, much attention focused on the growing prominence of small, boutique advisers working on many of the biggest and most complex deals alongside the integrated universal banks. 

Few of these boutiques are any more than vehicles for high-profile individual dealmakers to monetize networks of relationships with corporate CEOs built up over decades, advising them from inside the big firms. It is sometimes overlooked that the only independent firm that truly challenges the big universal banks in the fee and volume league tables in M&A is no recently formed boutique, but rather the 165-year-old investment bank Lazard.

Just looking at the first quarter of 2014, Lazard’s fee revenues from M&A ranked it ahead of Deutsche Bank – the self-anointed last European aspirant to be a universal global investment bank – Citi and UBS, and put it within a deal or two of Morgan Stanley.