Hire Wire Aug 16 2011

Lazard Expands Financial Institutions Group

By julie steinberg

James Spencer has joined Lazard as a managing director in the financial institutions group (FIG), the firm said today, following his former boss, Gary Howe, from UBS. He will advise banks on strategic transactions in his new role.

Spencer will be based in New York and report to Howe, head of FIG advisory, North America, with whom he worked at UBS. At UBS, Spencer was a managing director and head of U.S. banks in the financial institutions group, focusing on M&A, restructuring and equity and debt transactions. Spencer joined UBS in 2002 and was named head of FIG in February 2010. He has also worked at Credit Suisse First Boston. Prior to that, he served as a bank examiner and capital markets specialist for seven years at the FDIC.

Gary Howe joined Lazard last month from UBS, where he was co-head of FIG Americas.

Bankers have been fleeing UBS in droves over the past several months due to low compensation and sluggish profits.

Lazard hired 22 bankers in the first quarter 2011, the most recent period for which information was made available, bringing total headcount to 2,354 employees.

Related: Following Your Mentor

Write to Julie Steinberg at julies@fins.com

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