Role in the International Market of Lazard Bank

Role in the International Market of Lazard Bank

INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIC CHALLENGES IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR: LAZARD

For many years, investment bankers remained outside of the media spotlight. “Bankers” were typically associated with large commercial and retail banks, but investment bankers were often privately owned and funded, and tended to focus on local rather than international customers. There were some exceptions to this. The same advances in telecommunications and transportation that led to the burgeoning global economy in the last quarter of the twentieth century also affected the financial services industry. Mergers and acquisitions led to consolidations in the industry and companies that once focused on local interests expanded their sights to the international market. This came about both as a reaction to the globalization efforts undertaken by customers of these institutions as well as the recognition that there is a market niche that was underserved. This research considers the Lazard investment banking organization and its current role in the international market.

IS INVESTMENT BANKING GLOBAL OR LOCAL?

The last quarter of the twentieth century saw a significant change in the investment banking industry. Consumers·including governments and corporations·became more sophisticated, capital became more global, and the economic environment changed significant with the introduction of a single currency in much of Western Europe, currency crises in Asia and other financial shocks. As a result, investment banks were forced to modernize their operations as they also faced competition from traditional retail banks that were now entering the market as deregulation freed them from previous constraints (Hunt, 1995).

Increasingly, investment banks are finding their activities scrutinized not only by the governments where they are headquartered, but by governments where they conduct business, as well. Germany, for example, has cited the influence of foreign inve…

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