Another company that goes away: an investment bank closes its headquarters in Argentina

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Lazard, the company that five French brothers founded in 1848 in the United States as Lazard Freres, will close its office in Buenos Aires. The company is mainly engaged in the business of mergers and acquisitions, search for buyers for companies for sale, including for debt restructuring.

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The group seeks reduce costs in a context of slowdown in M&A advisory activity. After a scan of the region, it’s not just Argentina that’s in the sights.

“In the context of your initiative to save costs Four financial advisory offices will be closed in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Panama,” the firm confirmed.

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“Major Latin American offices in Mexico and Brazil continue to cover Central and South America,” they added.

About 50 people will be affected for movements, including about 20 employees in Argentinafive in Chile and five in Colombia, sources familiar with the company told Bloomberg, adding that some of these workers will be transferred to other places. No cuts are planned Mexico and Brazil.

The layoffs are part of Lazard’s plan reduce its workforce by 10% this year, after the company has registered a surprise loss in the first quarter.

“Honestly, things aren’t quite as good as they were in December or January,” CEO Ken Jacobs said in an interview after the results were released.

In the first three months of 2023, Lazard reported operating income of $527 million, with losses of $23 million.

“The first quarter was characterized by economic uncertainty and market turmoil, especially in the financial sector,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, president of Lazard, in announcing the financial statements.

“Asset Management had a great start to the year. However, the slowdown in mergers and acquisitions translated into significantly lower revenues in the quarter and the outlook for the year remains uncertain. We are applying cost-saving initiatives to adapt to the current environment and have the flexibility to invest strategically in our business,” she added.

Lazard led mergers advisory last year in deal volume, followed by Rothschild & Co, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

History in Argentina

Lazard had started working in Argentina in 2004when he joined the local company MBA (Merchant Bankers Asociados), a boutique investment banking founded in 1981 by the former Vice President of the Central Bank, Alejandro Reynal.

Then, four years later, the American investment bank acquired 50% of the Argentine company which was led by Alejandro Reynal, Jorge Bustamante and Luis Otero Monsegur and which was renamed MBA Lazard.

In 2016 the.risk kept 100% of the company which already had in its orbit the companies of Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Bogotá, Lima and Panama City.

Among the sales transactions in which Lazard has participated are that of Ades (from Unilever) to Coca-Cola; that of Citibank in Santander and of IECSA (by Angelo Calcaterra) in Pampa Energía.

Source: Clarin

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