Lazard CEO Says He’s Looking to Hire New Hedge Fund Teams

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Lazard Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Ken Jacobs is looking to take advantage of disruptions in the market by acquiring hedge fund teams and long-only investor groups.

“We see a lot of opportunity there,” Jacobs said Friday in a telephone interview after his firm reported first-quarter results. The CEO said he sees a chance to gain in the alternatives business “by consolidating some of the smaller teams that are out there.”

Lazard’s assets under management jumped 37% in the first quarter from a year earlier, to $265 billion, driven by a rebound in the markets, according to a statement. The firm generates about half its revenue from managing money and the rest from providing financial advice on mergers, acquisitions and restructurings.

Jacobs said Lazard has been adding at least one investment group each quarter, while also actively hiring more M&A dealmakers at the senior level. Dealmaking is also rebounding, he said.

As for large acquisitions in asset management, “we really like our position in our business today,” he said. “I’d never say never to anything, we’re inherently, at our core, dealmakers.”

Lazard gained 9.8% this year through Thursday, compared with a 12% rise in the S&P 500.

Read more about Lazard’s first-quarter results

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