Lazard Capital Markets CEO Leaves After Strategy Review

Lazard Capital Markets LLC, the closely held brokerage controlled by current and former Lazard Ltd. employees, said Chief Executive Officer William Buchanan resigned after the firm completed its strategic review.

Scott McLaughlin and William Rosenberg will become co-CEOs, said Scott Sunshine, a spokesman for New York-based Lazard Capital. McLaughlin will continue as head of equities, and Rosenberg will keep his chief financial officer and chief operating officer positions, Sunshine said.

Lazard Capital said in May it was exploring strategic alternatives including a sale, a joint venture or an injection of capital from a partner. The firm cut the size of its equities sales, trading and research division and outsourced clearing and settlements, Sunshine said in an interview.

FBR & Co. said this month it added 29 employees from Lazard Capital in a negotiated transaction, including research analysts, sales traders, position traders and institutional salespeople.

Buchanan ran equity capital markets and was a member of the executive committee at Cowen Group Inc. before joining Lazard Ltd. in 2006 to help advise companies on how to raise money by selling stock in the public and private markets.

McLaughlin joined Lazard Capital in 2007, according to his profile on LinkedIn Corp.’s website. He previously ran equities at WR Hambrecht + Co. and worked in equity sales at Citigroup Inc., according to his profile. Rosenberg started at Lazard Capital in 2005, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Fewer Firms

Smaller brokers are combining or closing as bigger banks tighten their grip on trading. Gleacher & Co. said in April it was closing its fixed-income unit and Knight Capital Group Inc. agreed to sell its debt brokerage to Stifel Financial Corp. CRT Capital Group LLC and Pierpont Securities LLC ended talks to combine after failing to reach an agreement, two people with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.

Firms registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority dropped 14 percent to 4,207 in September from 2008, according to the regulator’s website.

Lazard Capital was spun out of Lazard Ltd., the biggest independent merger-advisory firm, in 2005. The company had more than $1 billion in assets and about $73 million of equity at the end of 2012, according to regulatory filings. At the time Lazard Capital announced the review, it had about 200 employees.

Lazard Capital provides research, sales and trading, along with underwriting for equities, fixed-income and convertible securities, according to its website. Hamilton, Bermuda-based Lazard Ltd. has a separate capital-markets advisory business.

When Lazard Freres & Co. became publicly traded in 2005, the asset-management and advisory operations became part of Lazard Ltd. The capital markets and alternative-asset businesses were folded into a company owned by management called LFCM Holdings LLC, according to regulatory filings. Lazard Capital is a wholly owned subsidiary of LFCM.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.