Lazard reports 4Q profits of 122.6 million dollars, extends contract with CEO

Investment bank Lazard reported Wednesday its record fourth-quarter profits of $122.6 million.

Its fourth-quarter earnings were 47 percent up from a year ago.

Its contract with Mr. Wasserstein – a chairman and CEO – was renewed, the bank said.

Lazard Ltd. is the parent company of Lazard LLC, a New York-based, independent investment bank with approximately 2,200 employees in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Lazard was founded in 1848, and remained privately held until May 5, 2005 , when the company conducted an initial public offering of its shares. In connection with its IPO, Lazard spun off its securities underwriting business, Lazard Capital Markets, which is now an independent firm.

Today, the investment banking arm participates in significant mergers & acquisitions transactions and was named by Businessweek as the "Granddaddy of M&A".

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