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World's best bank for advisory 2019: Lazard

No one hires Lazard for its balance sheet, but big clients benefit from its intellectual capital.

Awards for Excellence 2019

When Lazard reported first-quarter 2019 results, a trawl through public disclosures of other investment banks ranked the firm fifth by overall advisory revenues for the last 12 months, behind the large universal banks led by Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Citi. 

JPMorgan had a balance sheet of $2.623 trillion at the end of 2018. Goldman Sachs had a balance sheet of $932 billion. Lazard’s was just $5 billion. 

How does it attain such a prominent position in advisory, while operating off such a tiny balance sheet?  

Chief executive Ken Jacobs says: “Reputations are earned over time. We’ve earned ours over many decades of doing one thing well: serving clients with the highest quality advice. This focus nurtures a culture of innovation: Lazard pioneered modern-day M&A, as well as restructuring and shareholder advisory, and we continue to innovate. 


Ken Jacobs

“With all of our bankers focused on advisory across a global platform, we have an enormous amount of intellectual capital to put to work for clients.

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