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Lazard Summer Analyst and Summer Associate Program

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Vault’s Verdict

One of the most prestigious investment banking firms on Wall Street, Lazard is looking for well-rounded, highly motivated, hardworking, curious team players with strong intellectual capabilities. Lazard’s internship program gets excellent reviews, as interns get significant live deal experience, direct access to senior bankers and clients (sometimes at the C-suite level), and extensive formal and informal training and mentorship. Meanwhile, the firm’s full-time junior bankers have access to numerous career development opportunities. The firm’s meritocratic culture allows juniors to take on as much responsibility as they can handle. Training and mentorship programs are very strong, and internal mobility options are available.

Although hours can be long, given that deal flow is strong, Lazard’s hybrid work model in North America—allowing professionals to work remotely Mondays and Fridays—goes a long way toward improving work/life balance. In addition, there’s no face time when it comes to in-office work, and juniors don’t have to work when on vacation (except in extreme situations). When it comes to compensation, Lazard pays its professionals well above the Street average, and bonuses are very generous for top performers. Benefits and perks are also above average, and Lazard offers numerous wellness offerings, including mindfulness and meditation apps, counseling reimbursements, and discounted gym memberships.

Lazard has been making a concerted effort to diversify its workforce, focusing on improving diversity hiring at both the campus and lateral levels, but the firm can still stand to improve in this area. And as for Lazard’s business outlook, it is very strong. The firm is uniquely positioned as a top restructuring firm as well as a top M&A firm, allowing the firm to thrive in up and down markets. The firm’s leadership has a clear understanding of the firm’s strengths, gaps, and growth opportunities, and employee morale is extremely strong, especially at the junior-banker level.

Hiring Process

“Our interview process for summer programs is very structured and similar to other banks. Our lateral hire process involves several rounds of interviews, including informational interviews, technical interviews, and senior leadership interviews. Our ideal candidate is highly motivated, knowledgeable of the industry that he or she wishes to cover, and has an aptitude for quantitative analysis.”

“We want people who are well-rounded, creative, multi-dimensional, and collaborative. Hard work, collaboration, and curiosity will win over raw smarts in our business. You also need to share a desire to produce truly excellent work and give the best advice possible.”

“Lazard is looking for candidate who recognizes that they will have the chance to play an outsized role in the transactions they work on from the beginning of their time at Lazard. This is not the place for those who want to be a cog in a machine but rather for those who want the chance to make an outsized impact, given the lean deal teams we have for very substantive assignments.”

“The firm seeks candidates with strong intellectual capabilities who can also balance being a team player. Candidates who like to come across as the smartest in the room often do not thrive at the firm as well as those who can check their egos at the door and recognize the firm has a collection of extremely bright and talented professionals who work best together.”

Interview Questions

“We do not have typical interview questions, which is what makes it so challenging. We pride ourselves on hiring people who know how to problem solve, think on their feet, and get along with their teammates. Our interview process is less technical and more based on intellectual curiosity, business acumen, work ethic, and drive.”

“We like to see if you can think critically. Getting the basics of corporate finance and accounting are the low hurdles. We need creative people who can connect dots and draw insights for clients.”

“We want to know how well the candidate understands Lazard’s business, how we differ from our competitors. We ask technical questions. Having a high IQ is important for success at Lazard. We want well educated hardworking achievement-oriented bankers.”

“What interests you in Lazard.? If you were a growth investor, what key characteristics and financial metrics in a company would you like to see? If you raise $100 in debt, what happens to your enterprise value? Very focused on decision making in career and life choices. Also focused on identifying excellence somewhere in background.”

Intern Experience

“As an intern, I had significant responsibility, far beyond my expectations, which helped me learn lots in a short period of time. I also received intensive training and mentorship—both formally and informally—which underscored the firm's investment in its people. I had access to bankers at the highest level, including group heads. I was integrated into the firm's culture and made to feel like I belonged. It was a fantastic internship, and it was an easy decision for me to accept my return offer.”

“Significant and meaningful exposure to senior bankers across the firm was a highlight of the internship experience. I was staffed on a variety of live deals and marketing accounts, and given the opportunity to work with different people across major and minor teams. I was also given the opportunity to work with and manage summer analysts on certain accounts, which was helpful preparation for the full-time associate/analyst dynamic.”

“The best aspects of Lazard’s summer associate internship were all of the formal and informal training that took place both prior to and during the summer. The summer was also very good from a client-facing and live-deal perspective. Prior to starting, we had 70+ hours of pre-work to complete, involving complicated financial statement modeling across the full three statements, M&A, LBO, etc., which helped build a solid quantitative foundation leading up to the internship. Once the internship officially started, we had a week in NYC to cover some of the basics before hitting the desk. During the internship, I worked on real engagements, interacted with management teams, and attended client meetings in person. There was no made up summer project, and I had to create real analyses and client-facing materials. I even got to travel to out of state meetings with management during the summer. The only real downside of the internship was that the hours were at times very challenging given the wide variety of projects that were taking place. However, I was happy to stay busy throughout and think the experience gave me a better perspective of what the job actually entails since they didn’t go easy on us.”

“Incredible amounts of responsibility as an intern. Direct client exposure, actually working side by side with clients (including C suite executives). Included in very high-level meetings between principals and got to see the deal process play out between senior counterparties. Maybe too much responsibility—very stressful despite lots of support.”

Career Development

“Meritocracy where how fast you develop and gain responsibilities is limited to your own capabilities and desire. Covid served as a catalyst to accelerate a lot of the formal training programs in a very positive way. The world is very open—there aren't a lot of silos or clients that are off limits. If you see an opportunity, Lazard encourages you to chase it.”:

“Lazard has a culture of training and mentorship—both formal and informal—and bankers at the firm take that very seriously. This helps employees become acclimated to the firm and climb the learning curve as quickly as possible. Further, Lazard bankers have very significant responsibility—at every level—helping them learn and grow. We're encouraged to practice at the top of our licenses, providing us with significant runway to learn. Lazard also invests in its people by enabling internal mobility. For instance, I was given the opportunity to transfer overseas for a year, giving me exposure to new ideas, clients, markets, and cultures. At Lazard, you're given the tools and training to succeed, encouraged to stretch, and supported along the way.”

“The training programs at Lazard are very strong. In addition to extensive official training, the firm spends time and resources on continuing education and webinars. Lazard also allows us to expense additional follow-up trainings, and encourages people to get broad exposure and experience. We also have teach-ins from law firms and other industry consulting groups, which help facilitate additional learning opportunities. The work we do is extremely complicated and challenging. Often times we are brought in when our clients are not able to solve a multi-faceted problem with traditional investment banks. It makes the job extremely engaging, albeit challenging at times since there are very few cookie-cutter engagements. The firm is engaged on a substantial number of cross-border transactions. I've worked on a significant number of international assignments across product groups and offices throughout the globe. When I returned full time, Lazard allowed me to start early in a different group that our office works with frequently to broaden my experience and get to know their team better before I hit the desk in my office of choice. There is very little red tape here, and it's a huge benefit to employees to seek out experiences that will broaden their horizons.”

“Lazard offers unparalleled opportunities for growth and development starting at the analyst level. The unique combination of direct exposure to the firm's most seasoned bankers and an expectation to contribute in a meaningful way supercharges learning from day one. More so than any other independent investment bank, Lazard is global. As a vice president based in New York, I work with teams from South America, Europe, and Asia on a weekly basis, and will shortly complete a one-year rotation in our London office.”

Quality of Life

“Banking is a demanding career path. It's a requirement for the work to be done. What sets Lazard apart is the flexibility it extends to execute the demands that come up. The hybrid work setup is being enacted more effectively at Lazard than at any other competitor. I actually work remote Mondays and Fridays, and take one full month every year to work completely remote. This is not without its own unique set of challenges, but has truly ‘expanded the pie’ that's available to split among career, family, and other personal pursuits.”

“Lazard presumes that you are a capable professional and will get your work done in a timely fashion with high quality. It is NOT a face-time culture or one where you have to be in the office. The hybrid work structure (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday in the office) is very popular, as is the ability to ‘reposition’ yourself to your home around 6 or 7 p.m. and finish any work up at home. There is a focus on keeping people and developing them, so retention is very important, especially for those who appear to have long-term potential.”

“Lazard bankers always strive to be thoughtful partners to our clients, which can mean long hours. That said, the work is extremely interesting, and I feel that we do very little unnecessary work. Lazard bankers aim to make the work that we do impactful and focus on the things that matter most to our clients. We have also invested very significantly in fostering a sustainable work/life balance—where people are encouraged to take time off, senior bankers personally ensure that protected weekends are truly protected, and bankers are encouraged to leave the office by dinner time. Life at Lazard is significantly more flexible than life at other banks—we have a hybrid model that requires us to work from the office only three days a week (client travel permitting) vs. five for many of our competitors.”

“Culture and quality of life varies significantly by group at Lazard. I am in a group that has a relatively informal and collegial culture than others, while working as hard or harder than the average industry group at Lazard. We are highly encouraged to take all of our vacation and are generally not shy about doing so. When on vacation, we are not bothered by work except for extreme situations (I have not been bothered at all by work in any of my last four weeks of vacation). Firmwide, the hybrid work model has significantly improved quality of life and is important for the prevention of burnout and spending time commuting. The long hours, which are prevalent in all groups at Lazard, are the main downside. However, I don't think that the hours at Lazard are much, if at all, above average. My group has made significant effort to fill-out our team fully so that work is more reasonably spread out among more people, though it has historically been a constant battle of losing people to burnout and filling those spaces. I think retention is getting better due to the hybrid work model and the enhanced quality of life it brings.”

Salary and Benefits

“Lazard compensates at the top of the Street average. While at one point we used to benchmark off of the other bulge brackets, the focus has become on matching or exceeding our direct independent peers, which has drove total comp up significantly over the last few cycles.”

“Bonus is competitive for high performers. Mix of current and deferred is okay and probably market. The stock component in deferred has been so-so given the stock’s performance. The switch a few years ago to being able to take some deferred comp in Lazard managed mutual funds was a big plus.”

“Lazard compensation (cash, bonus, benefits, perks, etc.) is very attractive—and the firm tries to take care of its people. Lazard's business is a people business. Our people and intellectual capital are our greatest assets. And Lazard's package recognizes those facts.”

“Salary is now on the upper end of Street for associates. Bonuses are also stronger than most banks. The benefits and perks we get are also better than most banks based on my discussions with colleagues across the Street.”

Wellness Efforts

“Lazard offers a wide range of wellness offerings, from mindfulness and meditation apps to counseling and reimbursements for fitness apparel and gym memberships. Lazard encourages bankers to take advantage of all of these programs and take time out from work, in order to have greater balance in life.”

“Very active attention to wellness—physical, emotional, mental. All sorts of third-party counseling and programs are available. Colleagues also notice if something is off and will ask you how you're doing and genuinely be interested and will ask if they can help.”

“There is an annual wellness reimbursement, but this amount is very small compared to how expensive gym memberships actually are. The biggest issue with wellness in my opinion is that the firm does not acknowledge how much of a toll this job can take emotionally, and bankers are expected to handle the stress day in and day out without any breaks.”

“Lazard supports wellness mainly with a fitness subsidy. This is definitely a strong perk in supporting wellness. Mental health and wellness programs are offered via online seminar—these are great tools—and I am happy with them being available. I don't think there are any needs or potential needs of mine that aren't met by Lazard in this regard.”

Diversity and ESG Initiatives

“Lazard makes a very concerted effort to diversify the workforce—at every level. Diversity is a major focus area for recruiting (both from campus and laterally). Lazard has diversified meaningfully since I joined the firm, which has made it a much more vibrant and interesting place to work. The diversity also enables us to provide more varied and thoughtful advice to our clients.”

“Very active DEI program. We all understand we win when we recruit and retain the smartest, most creative, hardworking professionals. The strides Lazard has made in this area have been fantastic—a lot of good intentions were put into formal processes, guidelines, and new initiatives that have all been successful. We have more to do, but great progress has been made in a short period. George, the new head of DEI, is fantastic.”

“There is an almost even split of women/male employees at the most junior (analyst) level, but as one goes up the hierarchy it becomes more and more male. There are very few senior women at the firm. There are even fewer employees of color than women, and again, these people would only exist at the most junior levels.”

“I think Lazard is trying very hard to hire women but not hard enough to keep them and ensure they have the same opportunities as men. I do think they are much better than other firms, specifically my last company, but they should continue to promote women and provide senior-level mentors (male or female, whoever is best positioned to help their career) to make sure women get noticed.”

“Lazard has a dedicated foundation, which contributes to several charitable causes. It also matches employee donations to philanthropies of their choice. We were given the opportunity to provide input, to shape the priorities of the Lazard Foundation, which employees really appreciated. The firm has also taken significant steps to rationalize our physical footprint, reduce our paper usage, and other green initiatives. I feel good about Lazard's ESG efforts.”

Business Outlook

“Lazard is the leading financial advisor to major companies, governments, and institutions globally. Given that our business is focused on advisory, our only products are our ideas and advice—and advice never goes out of style, regardless of market conditions. In good times and bad, our clients turn to us to help them navigate their toughest challenges. That positions Lazard to thrive over the coming months and years—even while some of our competitors stumble in the challenging market environment. Further, given that we are the most global independent advisory firm, our exposure and business risks are diversified to a much greater extent than our peers.”

“M&A appears set for a natural slow-down following years of cheap debt and positive economic growth, which will naturally have a drag on business. Having said that, Lazard's unique position as a top restructuring firm and a firm that also provides well-rounded advice to its clients (in addition to just M&A) should put us in a position to thrive, which allows me to maintain positivity going forward.”

“Lazard is very focused on growing in core areas and bolstering resources in value-added offices. The firm is also expanding capabilities across the globe and across service offerings. We have added MDs in multiple offices and regions and are proving we are willing to pay up for the best talent. Lazard has weathered financial storms and downturns throughout history over the last 175 years and will likely continue to do so. Employee morale is probably better than some other banks, but it's still a challenging and demanding place to work.”

“I think we have one of the clearest growth visions in the industry. Leadership has a clear understanding of the historic strengths of our brand, where we have gaps, where we have whitespace to grow into, and a measured approach to executing on those growth opportunities. Focus on internal promotion and organic growth (not lateral hiring). Morale is extremely strong, particularly among the junior bankers, who acknowledge that we have one of the best lifestyle programs out there. One-month work from anywhere, Mondays and Fridays work from home, business casual dress code, work from home after 5 p.m., etc.”

Lazard

30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
Phone: (212) 632-6000

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Public
Stock Symbol: LAZ
Stock Exchange: NYSE
CEO: Peter R. Orszag
Executive Chairman of the Board: Kenneth M. Jacobs
Asset Management CEO: Evan Russo
2023 Employees (All Locations): 3,300

Major Office Locations

New York, NY
Los Angeles, CA
San Francisco, CA
Chicago, IL
Minneapolis, MN
London, United Kingdom
Paris, France
Beijing, China
Frankfurt, Germany
Buenos Aires, Argentina