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Alternative Market Briefing

Lazard misses analysts’ expectations, launches low minimum fund of funds

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Weak revenue and high expenses pushed Lazard down in the fourth quarter causing them to miss analyst expectations. The New York-based financial advisory and asset management firm cites widespread uncertainty resulting in investor caution as the reason for low revenues.

For the fourth quarter, the company posted an adjusted net income of $1m, compared with $104m, in 2010. Operating revenue fell 23% to $469m, from the previous year. Financial advisory fees fell 26% to $260m. However, the firm did increase its quarterly dividend by 25%. As of January 31, 2012, AuM were approximately $150bn.

"The financial markets were difficult in 2011, and Lazard had a challenging fourth quarter, yet our franchise is better positioned today than ever before, with significant operating leverage in both our businesses, as macroeconomic conditions improve," said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive of Lazard in a statement. "We enter 2012 with a broad and deep platform, the best people, and an unrivaled network of relationships with corporations, governments and investing institutions around the world."

In addition to earnings information the firm also announced the launch of a new, low-minimum Alterative Strategies 1099 fund of hedge funds (FoHFs). The FoHF requires only a $25,000 minimum investment and will provide tax reporting through a 1099 only. The FoFH is designed to provide alter......................

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