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Lazard Fears & NBCU C-Suite Tea Leaves

Comcast C.E.O. Brian Roberts.
Comcast C.E.O. Brian Roberts. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
William D. Cohan
April 30, 2023

Once upon a time, when Lazard was a private partnership, as it was for the first 157 years of its nearly 175-year existence, and when the late Michel David-Weill, the last scion of the founding family, was still running the bank, it was not uncommon for a partner to have a bad year. Maybe his or her clients weren’t doing deals; maybe the M&A market was in the doldrums. Maybe he or she had momentarily lost their touch. Whatever the reason for the production hiccup, Michel, in his paternalistic, Parisian way, would decide to carry that partner from one year to the next, with the expectation that at some point his or her fecundity would pick up again.