Lazard: Building anecdotes into investment ideas
As in financial advisory, so too in asset management: data scientists are the new talents Lazard is seeking to bring in alongside its portfolio managers and analysts.
Quantitative analysis is much more familiar and longer established in investment management than in advisory, but here too the ground is shifting under the feet of the established players.
Since Lazard went public in 2005 and since Kenneth Jacobs took over as chairman and chief executive of the whole firm from Bruce Wasserstein, Lazard Asset Management, under the management of chief executive Ashish Bhutani, has grown from a $450 million annual revenue business to a $1.2 billion one, doubling assets under management and maintaining positive net inflows, acquiring teams of specialist active managers and a reputation for being strong, especially in emerging markets.
Now, like all managers seeking to address plan sponsors’ concerns in a world of low rates and high valuations, it is looking for a new cutting edge.
“I recall a conversation five years ago now” says Jai Jacob, managing director and leader of the multi-asset team, “with our head of quantitative equity, Paul Moghtader, when he told me: ‘Basically, the work has all been done.