Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) is the parent company of Lazard Group LLC, a global, independent and one of the world's largest investment banks with approximately 2,400 employees in 40 cities across 24 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. With origins dating back to 1848, the firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and capital raising, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments, and individuals. Lazard remained privately held until May 5, 2005, when the company conducted an initial public offering of its shares. In connection with its IPO, Lazard spun off its securities underwriting business, Lazard Capital Markets, which is now an independent firm.
Lazard's history as a preeminent financial advisor has contributed to its ability to secure key advisory roles in some of the most important, complex and recognizable mergers and acquisitions of the last 160 years. In recent years, Lazard has advised on nearly 1,000 completed mergers and acquisitions, having a cumulative value in excess of $1 trillion. Lazard has also advised on some of the largest and highest-profile