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Lazard Creates Africa Business Headed by Matthieu Pigasse

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Lazard Ltd., the largest independent merger adviser, established an Africa business to expand its financial-advisory services to the region.

The unit, which will advise African companies and sovereign entities, will be based in Paris and led by Matthieu Pigasse, Hamilton, Bermuda-based Lazard said today in a statement. Michele Lamarche will oversee government advisory, and Julien Riant will head mergers and acquisitions, according to the statement.

Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Jacobs said in July that clients are showing increased interest in regions including Africa and Latin America. The firm’s sovereign-advisory business has typically focused on developing markets such as Africa and Asia, he said.

“This initiative complements the worldwide organization of Lazard that has recently expanded its presence in China and Brazil, both of which are strategically focused on Africa,” Lazard said today in the statement.

Lazard declined 16 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $30.03 at 9:45 a.m. in New York. The shares have advanced 15 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Marcinek in New York at lmarcinek3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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