Ken Jacobs on Lazard's 175th Anniversary
Lazard Executive Chairman Kenneth M. Jacobs wrote a letter to open Lazard 175 Years, a commemorative book celebrating Lazard's 175th Anniversary.
In the letter, Ken reflects on the history of Lazard, the evolution of the firm since 1848, and shares his thoughts on our continuing success.
The letter is reprinted in full below.
It is my honor and pleasure to introduce this commemorative history of Lazard, in celebration of the firm’s 175th anniversary. Few businesses have the staying power to mark such an achievement, and even fewer have such interesting stories to tell.
On the surface, the story of Lazard is one of changing with the times. Through our long history, the firm has engaged in gold shipping, currency trading, retail banking, brokerage services, real estate investing, venture capital, financial advisory, asset management and more.
Yet throughout Lazard’s evolution, the business never strayed far from its foundation of serving clients. And the priorities of Lazard’s people have scarcely changed at all. They are on display in the partners' handwritten business letters of the 19th century: Are we doing our best for clients? What can we do better? Are we on sound financial footing? Where do we see new opportunities? Do we have the right people in place?
In this book, we have sought to capture both the changes and the constancy of 175 years. The stories of long-gone eras are interesting as history, but they also reveal the secret of Lazard’s continued success. Our firm has survived bad times and thrived in good times by always adapting to change; always putting clients first; always making an impact; and always seeking to attract and retain the best people.
The Lazard of 2023 would no doubt amaze the partners of times past. But I am certain they would quickly recognize our focus on excellence and integrity, and the measured, thoughtful way in which we are meeting the future.
In this year of new challenges and new opportunities, I am confident that Lazard is better positioned than ever for continued success. The future will certainly bring ups and downs, but as long as we commit to the excellence that has defined Lazard, this story will have many chapters to come.
Kenneth M. Jacobs