Reflections at Lazard (London)

Hi guys,

Thought I'd give an insight into my time at Lazard working as an Analyst. WSO forums helped me learn a bit about the application process and differences between the EBs / BBs, so thought I'd include my experience. This is a throwaway account so please don't message me. I will try to speak generally about myself to protect my identity. If you have any specific questions leave a reply on this post and I may reply within a week or so; I am free this week so will try my best. 

Training

The graduate training programme and ongoing education throughout the initial years is simply awesome. I did my initial training pre-COVID and the experience was great; meeting other European colleagues and the London Analyst class was nice and totally non-competitive. I didn't study a finance degree, nor did I do a summer internship at Lazard (I converted at another EB) so there was a lot of catching up to do. Fitch learning provide a great training programme.

What you find at Lazard is they target a high mix of educational backgrounds; they also aim for 50:50 male to female ratio. The male to female ratio is good on paper, but in my experience a couple of the females I worked with weren't quite on par with the rest of the class, probably due to lack of good female applicants to the firm for my intake year. They had good Oxford humanities degrees but no finance exp. or interest at uni - so they literally had to learn what EBITDA was, what are the 3 financial statements, how to format in Excel etc. as a graduate analyst. I was joined by one of these analysts in my first rotation and it was like hell for the first few months as I'd had to do some of her work too!

Rotations

I will not describe all my rotations as it will be easy to identify who I am. I will only describe the best / worst:

ECM - Working for [Removed] was tough and not enjoyable. [Removed] was better. This was my least favourite rotation and very non-technical. Most days were just doing market updates, updating databases, creating pitches and taking notes for meetings. The team were highly elitist and I really did not look forward to socials. There was no creativity or innovation involved in the work and internal politics was high between VPs, Directors and MDs. The ECM team is not talked about much on this site and I went in pretty blind, so thought this was worth highlighting. Things might have changed by now however, as I've seen one of the nastier [Removed] recently lateral to another bank as a [Removed].

TMT OR Healthcare (to remain anon. I have stated 2 teams, one of which I worked in, one of which I did not:). I know both are great though) - really great from junior to senior level. Lots of large cap deal experience and technical modelling skills gained. Hours were rough at times but time was managed really well across the team. Some lateral hires from audit backgrounds who were a bit sh*t technically, but had great interpersonal skills. 

Culture

Generally speaking, the quality of candidates is mixed; some are highly academic, some are less so. I was somewhere in the middle (1st class target, AAAA A-levels, exec. at a uni soc.), but they seem to take on particular 'characters'. An Oxford (PPE) degree seems highly sought after here. EBs in general are quite snobbish; I am not from a privately educated background so it took some getting used to. There seems to be a high % from Eton and the associates and above are mostly white male, although they are actively trying to change this. Personally I don't think I would be able to fit in after some years here, hence why I left (+ buyside exit opps.). My friends at other BBs seem to think the culture is a bit more diverse at their firms, although they have the advantage of much larger intakes. HR are great and organise alot of events (especially for the interns). 

Exit Opps.

Mainly MM PE / Credit if you only speak British, MF PE is a possibility if you are European or a superstar. A few HF exits in recent years too. Some of the grads really fit in to the culture / ecosystem and don't actively look at exit opps. Typically speaking, in the UK buyside gigs are quite off-cycle so some people stay several years before moving.   

WSO Elite Modeling Package

  • 6 courses to mastery: Excel, Financial Statement, LBO, M&A, Valuation and DCF
  • Elite instructors from top BB investment banks and private equity megafunds
  • Includes Company DB + Video Library Access (1 year)

Comments (23)

Aug 21, 2021 - 12:07pm

Currently doing audit at big 4, so would be curious to know why we lack in technical skills and how you think we could bridge the gap? Also, is this only at EBs in London or say if I wanted to go to more mid market firms, would the big 4 audit experience still help do you think?

Aug 24, 2021 - 7:39am

This is a generalisation so it might be the case that you have great technical skills! During my exp. I noticed the audit guys I worked with were always asking for my help on modelling / powerpoint; they might be able to do each task independently but were slower than our grads. and not used to the fast-paced and small team environment. There are many resources online which will help when completing under timed pressure. Regarding your second point, I have seen many Big 4 exits into MM PE, however I imagine you will first need to lateral to a corporate finance team. In fact, many MM / LMM PE firms prefer Big 4 outside of London (e.g. Birmingham). 

Learn More

300+ video lessons across 6 modeling courses taught by elite practitioners at the top investment banks and private equity funds -- Excel Modeling -- Financial Statement Modeling -- M&A Modeling -- LBO Modeling -- DCF and Valuation Modeling -- ALL INCLUDED + 2 Huge Bonuses.

Learn more
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Aug 22, 2021 - 1:29pm

Both surnames are the MDs so not really bad, I would be worried about the "toxic" associate desc however as its a pretty obvious who op is talking about....

Most Helpful
Aug 24, 2021 - 7:51am

Sure, I will remain very general.

TMT: Probably the largest team in London. One of the most 'fun' teams. Many large-cap deals and solid leadership. Good relationship between juniors and seniors. Projects can be intense.

Services: One of the smaller teams. Tend to work on MM deals. A couple of analysts / associates I know there are very academic and driven; some of the smartest juniors at the firm. Because of the incredibly small teams; probably more responsibility on deals.

Industrials: Probably the largest team with the highest deal flow. Culture is very intense and hours are probably the longest (along with healthcare); many many 4AM nights (and this includes VPs / Directors). Exit opps. can be fantastic if you are European. 

Funniest
  • Intern in IB - Gen
Aug 23, 2021 - 5:48pm

They would hire female Oxford humanities grads with no interest / experience in finance over guys who've had relevant experience & interest in finance? Says a lot tbh.

Aug 24, 2021 - 8:00am

It is annoying but in my opinion there are plenty of other (and better) investment banks in London that WILL value your experience and technical expertise over academics / uni. background. Having said that, the most interesting senior bankers I worked with are former engineers, government advisers, lawyers and consultants.

Aug 31, 2021 - 11:44pm

"MF PE is a possibility if you are European or a superstar." Is this purely because Europeans speak foreign languages, or are there other reasons too? What if you're not a Euro but have fluency in Euro languages besides English? And are Spanish and Portuguese valuable in PE London recruiting? Thanks!

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Sep 16, 2021 - 9:40am

Many thanks for this very useful post.

Could you (or someone that has insights) briefly comment on which are the best M&A teams at Lazard in London? More specifically, what is your view (culture, hours, dealflow) about the Industrials and the Business Services M&A teams? 

Sep 18, 2021 - 12:51pm

Rerum perferendis culpa modi. Quod voluptatibus qui quam repudiandae autem et quo doloribus. Ducimus earum pariatur esse.

Qui nobis vel provident quae natus assumenda. Nemo eligendi consequatur iste error nam veritatis quis omnis. Harum totam non ut placeat laudantium.

Asperiores porro eos ex illo accusantium totam praesentium. At deleniti sunt libero quo veniam. Pariatur et omnis excepturi itaque quos. Provident et dolores quia excepturi. Tempore repellendus ratione corrupti repellat sit eius. Accusamus culpa dolorum asperiores et facere sit quis rerum. Quaerat voluptatem molestias tempore enim pariatur illo cumque officiis.

Est voluptatem ut natus debitis libero cupiditate quos. Molestiae perferendis illum et laudantium cumque.

Start Discussion

Total Avg Compensation

October 2021 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (10) $853
  • Vice President (39) $363
  • Associates (228) $232
  • 2nd Year Analyst (137) $154
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (30) $147
  • Intern/Summer Associate (103) $143
  • 1st Year Analyst (499) $135
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (385) $83