Lazard’s next CEO Peter Orszag plans to double revenue by 2030

By Lananh Nguyen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Two weeks before Peter Orszag takes the helm as CEO of Lazard, he is already setting an ambitious goal for the investment bank to double its revenue by 2030.

“It is time for Lazard to aim higher,” he told Reuters in an interview.

Orszag outlined his plans for the 175-year-old firm in a memo to employees on Thursday, including a raft of personnel changes.

The firm has prompted Alexandra Soto to chief operating officer from an executive overseeing human capital and workplace innovation. Chris Weideman will join as general counsel from Apollo Asset Management.

The revenue aspirations are being locked in at a time when sluggish dealmaking has weighed on earnings and prompted Lazard to eliminate 10% of its workforce.

Boosting revenue in asset management will require better distribution, improved investment performance and potentially an acquisition, Orszag wrote in the memo.

Despite the cull, Lazard may hire more managing directors to fuel growth in its advisory business, he wrote, adding that bankers who advise clients on mergers and acquisitions will need to boost productivity to meet growth targets.

The advisory business has “ample room” to double in size in both the U.S. and Europe, while the Middle East and Africa region also has growth potential, he said.

“Part of Lazard’s DNA is this ability to move across sectors and provide guidance not only to CEOs, but presidents and prime ministers,” he added.

“It’s one of the reasons why we will be hired by companies — that has only become more potent in the current environment. You can’t make a business decision today without a view on the geopolitics and the regulatory situation.”

(Reporting by Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Varun H K)