With rumours circulating over at Lazard that partners were up in arms over pay cuts, that head of the firm Bruce Wasserstein was at loggerheads with Chairman Michel David-Weill and staff were in fear of the chop, truth is, Lazard is inching towards IPO. It looks like it will be done Bruce's way, after all.
Most of those who matter met last week to discuss the future of the firm and, although no firm decision was said to have been made, Wasserstein is believed to have got 'near unanimous' support for his IPO plan, which should value Lazard at around $3.2bn.
Wasserstein himself is said to have been instrumental in M&A deals worth in excess of $250bn, so this little venture should eventually prove to be a walk in the park. Bruce usually gets what Bruce wants. The staff can worry and some partners may cry foul, but Lazard will almost certainly float next year. It might even be Bruce's swansong deal. Some say that he could bail out as soon as he is able to. But others say that Wasserstein will never walk away from the M&A game. He can't, it's simply in his blood.