Lazard is one of the world’s most prestigious investment banking firms. Its well-known mergers and acquisitions group has advised on some of the largest, most complex deals of the past 100 years. Lazard’s excellent internship program allows interns to work on live deals alongside senior bankers and clients. Lazard excels at mentorship and individual development, giving its full-time bankers clear guidance on their strengths and areas for development. Lean deal teams offer a lot of responsibility.
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One of the most prestigious investment banking firms on Wall Street, Lazard is looking for well-rounded, highly motivated, hardworking, curious team players with strong intellectual capabilities. Lazard’s internship program gets excellent reviews, as interns get significant live deal experience, direct access to senior bankers and clients (sometimes at the C-suite level), and extensive formal and informal training and mentorship. Meanwhile, the firm’s full-time junior bankers have access to numerous career development opportunities. The firm’s meritocratic culture allows juniors to take on as much responsibility as they can handle. Training and mentorship programs are very strong, and internal mobility options are available.
Although hours can be long, given that...
About the Company
Founded in 1848, Lazard has advised on some of the most significant mergers and acquisitions in Europe and the Americas since the beginning of the 20th century. The firm's modern history can be traced to the year 2000, when the “three houses of Lazard” (based in New York, Paris, and London) formally united as one partnership. The firm went public in 2005 and today is the world’s largest advisory-focused investment bank, with offices in 41 cities across the world. The firm is led by Peter R. Orszag, its CEO, and employs more than 3,300 people globally.
Lazard has two businesses: financial advisory and asset management, each account for approximately 50 percent of the firm's revenues. The financial advisory business advises companies, boards, governments and sovereign entities on M&A transactions, capital st...
“Banking is a demanding career path. It's a requirement for the work to be done. What sets Lazard apart is the flexibility it extends to execute the demands that come up. The hybrid work setup is being enacted more effectively at Lazard than at any other competitor. I actually work remote Mondays and Fridays, and take one full month every year to work completely remote. This is not without its own unique set of challenges, but has truly ‘expanded the pie’ that's available to split among career, family, and other personal pursuits.”
“Lazard presumes that you are a capable professional and will get your work done in a timely fashion with high quality. It is NOT a face-time culture or one where you have to be in the office. The hybrid work structure (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in the office) is very popular, as is the ability to ‘reposition’ yourself to your home around 6 or 7 p.m. and finish any work up at home. There is a focus on keeping people and developing them, so retention is very important, especially for those who appear to have long-term potential.”
“Lazard bankers always strive to be thoughtful partners to our clients, which can mean long hours. That said, the work is extremely interesting, and I feel that we do very little unnecessary work. Lazard bankers aim to make the work that we do impactful and focus on the things that matter most to our clients. We have also invested very significantly in fostering a sustainable work/life balance—where people are encouraged to take time off, senior bankers personally ensure that protected weekends are truly protected, and bankers are encouraged to leave the office by dinner time. Life at Lazard is significantly more flexible than life at other banks—we have a hybrid model that requires us to work from the office only three days a week (client travel permitting) vs. five for many of our competitors.”
“Culture and quality of life varies significantly by group at Lazard. I am in a group that has a relatively informal and collegial culture than others, while working as hard or harder than the average industry group at Lazard. We are highly encouraged to take all of our vacation and are generally not shy about doing so. When on vacation, we are not bothered by work except for extreme situations (I have not been bothered at all by work in any of my last four weeks of vacation). Firmwide, the hybrid work model has significantly improved quality of life and is important for the prevention of burnout and spending time commuting. The long hours, which are prevalent in all groups at Lazard, are the main downside. However, I don't think that the hours at Lazard are much, if at all, above average. My group has made significant effort to fill-out our team fully so that work is more reasonably spread out among more people, though it has historically been a constant battle of losing people to burnout and filling those spaces. I think retention is getting better due to the hybrid work model and the enhanced quality of life it brings.”
Getting Hired Here
“Our interview process for summer programs is very structured and similar to other banks. Our lateral hire process involves several rounds of interviews, including informational interviews, technical interviews, and senior leadership interviews. Our ideal candidate is highly motivated, knowledgeable of the industry that he or she wishes to cover, and has an aptitude for quantitative analysis.”
“We want people who are well-rounded, creative, multi-dimensional, and collaborative. Hard work, collaboration, and curiosity will win over raw smarts in our business. You also need to share a desire to produce truly excellent work and give the best advice possible.”
“Lazard is looking for candidate who recognizes that they will have the chance to play an outsized role in the transactions they work on from the beginning of their time at Lazard. This is not the place for those who want to be a cog in a machine but rather for those who want the chance to make an outsized impact, given the lean deal teams we have for very substantive assignments.”
“The firm seeks candidates with strong intellectual capabilities who can also balance being a team player. Candidates who like to come across as the smartest in the room often do not thrive at the firm as well as those who can check their egos at the door and recognize the firm has a collection of extremely bright and talented professionals who work best together.”