• 06 Jun 2007 at 12:55 PM
  • Lazard

Meet Joel Sendek

sendek.03.jpgJoel’s a Lazard sell-side analyst. He’s like you, if you’re a sell-side analyst working at Lazard who puts your opinions about whether investors should buy, hold or sell bio-tech stocks into voicemail power ballads. Biogen? To the Stones’ “Satisfaction”: “…some useless documentation supposed to protect me from litigation…I can’t get no Tysabri-faction.” Genentech? To Rupert Holmes’s “Pina Colada” (/Jimmy Buffett’s “Escape”): “If you like pina coladas, and think binary clinical risk is insane.” Amgen? To the Kinks’ “Destroyer”: “I met a drug called Cera and took her back to my place. Feeling guilty, feeling scared, hidden cameras everywhere…Cera-noia! The destroya! Cera-noia.” Joel can’t say exactly where the inspiration for his songs come from (drugs). Could be during bike rides in Westchester (meth lab), or after “a grueling week of earnings reports sends him into 30-minute writing trances” (crack den). Either way, his ditties are apparently “talked about and forwarded for days.” Listen here (and here) and tell us for yourself: Crazy? Or is it so sane that it just blew your mind? Impossible? Or is it so possible that your head is spinning like a top? Can’t it be? Or can it, and your entire world is just crashing down all around you?
The Weird Al of Wall Street [Fortune]

Rock Out With Your Stock Out

hfparty.jpgEver wondered what it would be like to party with a bunch of hedgies? Besides the obvious—Loeb is a mean drunk,* Hudson claims he has no idea why he woke up wearing a skirt and heels,* Griffin is always suspiciously missing when it’s his turn to pick up the round*—there’s not that much in the public records about what doing lines off of a HF manger’s girlfriend’s girlfriend’s exquisitely sculpted (and handsomely paid for) breasts feels like (Stevie Cohen owns the rights to publish those photographs).**
Until now!
Thanks to hedge fund manager Saleem Siddiqi, who threw a soiree for his HF friends (in the name of charity) we’ve now got a hazy picture of what a bitchin’ time we’re scheduled to have with James Simons next Thursday (quant guys always have the best acid). Let’s take a look.
*Libel lawyers please note : We’re kidding around here. Obviously we’ve never actually seen Loeb drunk, Hudson in drag and, for all we know, Griffin might totally be generous when it comes to buying shots for the table.
**Yeah, sorry, we also made up that thing about Cohen. The guy has lots of pictures but we don’t really think he owns the rights to those ones.

Read more »

  • 08 May 2007 at 10:57 AM
  • Banks

Did Lazard not get an invite to the M&A party?

Lazard, sitting at #10 in the M&A League Tables, didn’t experience the Q1 advisory growth of many of the top banks (cough…Goldman and Morgan Stanley). Lazard is quick to “highlight” in its earnings release that M&A revenue set a new quarterly record, although it only grew 1%. Counting a drop in financial structuring revenue, total financial advisory revenue for the bank remained completely flat. Goldman and Morgan Stanley both experienced double digit quarterly advisory revenue growth.
Referring to the financial institution investor appeasement playbook (pg. 11), Lazard Vice Chairman Steven Golub went with the power-“backlog” formation. Golub wants to assure you that the check’s in the mail, and that there are at least five or six ‘second biggest LBO ever’ transactions in the pipeline. His comment, from the company press release:

Our results are best measured on an annual basis rather than on any single quarter. This year our backlog for completion of transactions seems to be weighted toward the second half of the year. We continue to focus on controlling costs. The increase in our non-compensation expense was impacted by, among other factors, one-time cost recoveries in the first quarter of 2006. We remain confident that the operating leverage in our business model will continue to yield long term positive results.

Sitting Out the M&A Party at Lazard? – [WSJ Deal Journal]

Chrysler Auction: Bids Due Thursday!

Chrysler Detroit.jpgIt’s down to crunch time on the auction for Chrysler and major private equity firms have lined up their bankers to support their buyout proposals, according to a report this morning from the Detroit News. Blackstone and Centerbridge—who are working together—have Bank of America, Lazard and Lehman Brothers in their corner. Meanwhile, Cerberus Capital Management LLC, is said to have recruited Goldman Sachs Group.
The General Motors bid, reportedly made way back in January, appears to have set off the star Chrysler sell off but to have been too skimpy to be seriously considered. All GM offered was 10 percent of its equity, no cash, and a requirement that DaimlerChyrsler pay GM $1 billion.
Six weeks ago we pointed out that GM seemed unlikely to pick-up Chrysler for this very reason

Another problem: GM boss Rick Wagoner is a tightwad. Remember the outsized dowry he and the GM board demanded from Ghosn when they considered the combination with Nissan-Renault? How much would GM pay up for Chrysler? When we called one of our banker friends to ask for a valuation on what GM might pay for Chrysler, he joked that GM might ask Daimler to pay them to take it off their hands.

Big banks latch on to Chrysler talks
[Detroit News]

  • 26 Jan 2007 at 9:12 AM
  • Lazard

This Year’s ‘Wasserstein Ho-Down’ Will Not Be A Cash Bar

wasserstein.jpgBruce “Big Bucks” Wasserstein was awarded $18 million in restricted shares by Lazard Ltd. This represents an 80% increase from last year, when he got $10 million (plus a $4.2 million salary), thanks to a stock rise of 48% in 2006. The Wasserstein family currently owns $585 million in stock/stock rights; Wasserstein is the sixth-largest shareholder of public stock. Here’s to bigger and better parties in ’07.
LAZARD BIDS UP BRUCE [Bloomberg via NYPost]

  • 24 Nov 2006 at 10:32 AM
  • bonuses

Lazardites Can Sell Stock Early

Bonus season got a little better for some senior investment bankers at Lazard the other day. They’re going to get to sell some of the stock they got in the firm’s IPO early, in an attempt to make up for smaller bonsues that had some grumbling, especially since chief executive Bruce Wasserstein was getting ricer than ever.

After hearing his troops grouse about paltry pay deals, Lazard boss Bruce Wasserstein is letting a select group of wealthy investment bankers sell some of its stock in the firm sooner than originally planned.
Lazard is allowing some current and former managing directors, who have been with the firm since before its initial public offering, to sell about 10 percent of their total holdings in an upcoming secondary offering that was announced yesterday.
Before the offering, most Lazard bankers couldn’t begin selling their shares until 2008, but sources inside the firm as well as former bankers said bonuses have gone down since the IPO, and the firm has gone through several rounds of layoffs.
Since the IPO, Lazard’s overall compensation has gone up along with the firm’s revenues, but that hasn’t stopped some senior bankers from grumbling about getting paid less than the rest of Wall Street.
Currently, Lazard’s compensation is about 57 percent of its total revenue, on par with other investment banks, but down from 70 percent before the firm’s IPO last year.

Top Lazard Bankers Get To Cash Out Shares [New York Post]

Is Bruce Wasserstein Ailing? More Reports

Reports of Bruce Wasserstein’s allegedly deteriorating health continue to come in to Peter Cohan following up on his July 27th post.

Claims that Wasserstein’s health is “fine” are at odds with reports I’ve received since July 27. For instance, on August 11, a person who has seen Wasserstein recently said, “He has a prior heart condition and this may have been a recurrence. He looks like he lost 75 pounds and his voice sounds different.”
Another person mentioned that Wasserstein had received quadruple bypass surgery prior to joining Lazard. On August 9th, without prompting, a former Wasserstein Perella & Co. banker said, “I saw Bruce Wasserstein two weeks ago and decided he must be sick because he looks like s–t.” One who met with him around the same time said that Wasserstein, who did not look well, commented “it’s just the pneumonia” — the same ailment from which he suffered in December 2005 as reported in a January 15, 2006 New York Times profile. (I’ve had pneumonia in the past and it didn’t cause me to lose weight.) In sum, at least five people who have seen him in recent weeks have wondered about his health.

Just to be clear about our interest in this. We don’t think posting about this is senselessly morbid or invasive. In fact, we hope that the worries of the people talking to Cohan are misplaced. And normally we wouldn’t encourage speculation about the health of an individual. We have a good deal of respect for the privacy of individuals here at DealBreaker. But as Cohan points out in his post, Wasserstein is the CEO of a public company and so his health is a matter of concern not just to his family and friends but to his company’s shareholders as well. Emails to Lazard seeking information about Wasserstein’s health went unreturned at the time we posted this item.
Is Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein really “fine”? [BloggingStocks]

  • 27 Jul 2006 at 1:12 PM
  • Lazard

Wasserstein Ill?

wasserstein.jpgIs Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein seriously ill? That’s what people are telling Peter Cohan.

According to my source, a few weeks after the tragic death of his beloved sister Wendy, from lymphoma, and just after delivering his infamous report on Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX), Bruce went into hiding for some eight weeks. He has lost 50 pounds and is said to look like a wobbly, 75-year-old. Bruce is 58 and has always been portly. He is apparently now back at work at Lazard and is to give a speech today.

Has anyone seen Bruce lately? Send denials or confirmations to tips(at) or leave them in the comments below.

Rumor: Is Lazard CEO Bruce Wasserstein seriously ill?
[Blogging Stocks]