Lazard Ltd is a Bermuda holding company founded in 1848 in New Orleans. It is al financial advisory and asset management firm that has long specialized in crafting solutions to the complex financial and strategic challenges of its clients. It serves a diverse set of clients around the world, including corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and high net worth individuals. The Company's sole operating asset is its indirect ownership of common membership interests of Lazard Group and its managing member interest of Lazard Group, whose main operating activities are included in two business segments: Financial Advisory, which includes providing advice on mergers and acquisitions and strategic advisory matters, restructurings and capital structure advisory services, capital raising and other transactions; and Asset Management, which includes the management of equity and fixed income securities and alternative investment and private equity funds. In addition, the Company records selected other activities in its Corporate segment, including management of cash, certain investments and the commercial banking activities of Lazard Group's Paris-based Lazard Freres Banque SA ( LFB). LFB is a registered bank regulated by the Banque de France and its main operations include asset and liability management for Lazard Group's businesses in France through its money market desk and commercial banking operations, deposit taking and, to a lesser extent, financing activities and custodial oversight over assets of various clients. The Company also allocates outstanding indebtedness to its corporate segment. The Company currently operates from 40 cities in key business and financial centers across 25 countries throughout Europe, North America, Asia, Australia, and Central and South America. Its competitors are other investment banking and financial advisory firms, broker-dealers, commercial and 'universal' banks, insurance companies, investment management firms, hedge fund management firms, alternative investment firms and other financial institutions. The Company competes with some of its competitors globally and with others on a regional, product or niche basis. It competes on the basis of a number of factors, including quality of people, transaction execution skills, investment track record, quality of client service, individual and institutional client relationships, absence of conflicts, products and services, innovation, brand recognition and business reputation. Its businesses, as well as the financial services industry generally, are subject to regulation throughout the world. Certain U.K. subsidiaries of the Company, including LCL, Lazard Fund Managers Limited and Lazard Asset Management Limited are regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Certain other U.S. and non-U.S. subsidiaries are subject to various capital adequacy requirements promulgated by various regulatory and exchange authorities in the countries.
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