Financial advisory and asset management firm Lazard recently announced its appointment of two company veterans as heads of its financial advisory and mergers and acquisitions businesses. According to a news release, Alexander F. Stern has been named the chief executive of the firm’s financial advisory group, and Matthieu Pigasse has been named the firm’s new global head of mergers and acquisitions and sovereign advisory businesses.
Stern has been with the firm since 1994 and has served as Lazard’s chief operating officer since 2008. Lazard CEO Kenneth Jacobs seems particularly pleased with this new appointment, commenting that “Alex’s expertise in advising clients for over 20 years, combined with his skills and experience in strategy and operations, make him uniquely positioned to lead the industry’s strongest advisory-focused franchise.” Jacobs also adds that as the CEO of financial advisory, Stern will “lead and drive strategy for our global investment banking businesses.”
Pigasse too has been a strong asset to the firm for many years. A former French government official, he joined Lazard back in 2002. Before his recent appointment to head of mergers and acquisitions, Pigasse served as the chief executive of Lazard’s operations in France.
By providing excellent financial counsel, Lazard has played a significant role in Greece’s debt restructuring strategy over the last few years. According to The New York Times, Pigasse heads the team at Lazard that has advised Greece in renegotiating its debt burden and has done so since 2012. Times contributor Chad Bray describes him as a “banker best known for advising Greece on its debt,” a role which no doubt led to his recent appointment at the firm.
Now, Pigasse’s role as global head of mergers and acquisitions will include furthering the firm’s relations with international clients. Explains Jacobs in the news release, “As Global Head of M&A, he will be responsible for intensifying our client focus, which strengthens the firm’s unrivaled network of relationships around the world.”
With a fourth-quarter earnings report that far exceeded analysts’ expectations, Lazard is already positioned to have a highly successful fiscal year. The recent strategic internal appointments will likely contribute to the positive momentum the firm is experiencing.