Lazard Capital Markets, the closely held brokerage controlled by current and former Lazard employees, is exploring strategic options including a sale or joint venture, according to a spokesman.
Bloomberg reports that Lazard Capital, spun out amid Lazard Ltd.’s 2005 initial public offering, also may pursue a capital partner or sell a minority stake as its owners seek to increase the value of the franchise, Scott Sunshine, a spokesman for the New York-based broker-dealer, said in a phone interview. No decision has been made, he said.
Firms across Wall Street have been examining changes to their ownership structure and strategy as the industry’s commissions are squeezed. Money managers are trading less and doing more of it electronically, and customers aren’t as willing to pay for investment recommendations.
Lazard Capital, led by CEO William Buchanan, cut six senior research analysts in December, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The firm had more than $1bn in assets and about $73m of equity at the end of 2012, according to regulatory filings. Hamilton, Bermuda-based Lazard Ltd., the largest independent merger adviser, has a separate capital markets advisory business.
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