Lazard used to be rife with plotlines ripped straight from the movies, wherein chief executives stomped mightily around the globe to put their mark on the firm and bankers were rumored to make grown men cry.
Since former Chief Executive Bruce Wasserstein's death two years ago, things have quieted down and perhaps for the better. Under the leadership of Ken Jacobs, 53, the firm has added dozens of senior bankers to bring total headcount to just above 2,300 employees. More than one-third of the managing directors in London joined since 2007, and returning alumni Lazardites include Felix Rohatyn, Gerry Rosenfeld and Pierre Tattevin.
The firm has been expanding into fields other than mergers and acquisitions advising, the business it's known for. Recently, the bank has expanded its debt advisory, sovereign advisory (like telling Greece what to do) and structured credit advisory businesses.
Meanwhile, it's been steadily lowering its compensation-to-revenue ratio (from 72% to 58% over the course of two years) and reaping modest returns.
Smaller banks may win the race in 2012, especially if bigger banks continue laying off thousands.
Sounding the Alarm (FINS)
Here's why you keep chief risk officers around. Even if they're not saying what you want to hear, like MF Global's former CRO Michael Roseman, they're probably saying it for a reason.
Mortgage Mavens (Portland Business Journal)
An Arkansas-based bank is opening a Northwest office in Portland and hiring more than 50 mortgage professionals and administrators. The office is looking for underwriters, closers and processors.
One Man, One Way Down (Daily Beast)
Here's the story of the rise and fall of Jon S. Corzine, the former chief executive of MF Global. Whether he can recover from this latest disaster remains to be seen.
It's Official (Reuters)
Citigroup Chief Executive Vikram Pandit owned up to the bank's cost and revenue troubles. He told investors the bank will cut 4,500 jobs in the coming quarters and take a charge of $400 million in the fourth quarter to account for severance and other costs.
Surprise Surpise (peHUB)
A new survey of female executives in alternative investments found that nearly two-thirds believe women have a harder time rising in the industry than men. One-third of respondents think women remain trapped by societal stereotypes about the role of women.
Celebrate Good Times (FINS)
Holiday parties just aren't what they once were. When it's a choice between cash and a holiday fete, you can probably guess what most people want.
A New Route (Here is the City)
It's not your parents' job-seeking world anymore. Behold, an infographic with all the stats on how people are using social media to get jobs.
Buzz Around the Office
Wow, look at that mullet! Oh yeah, his whistling is pretty impressive too.
List of the Day: Connecting with Important People
There's an art to LinkedIn stalking you should know about if you want to connect with someone who has the power to hire you.
1. Find the person who can get you your job dream job through the company's online group.
2. Join some other groups your target is in.
3. Contact the person without mentioning you're looking for a job.