Summary of The Last Tycoons

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8 Overall

6 Importance

7 Innovation

10 Style


If investment banking and the history of big deals fascinate you, getAbstract invites you to sit down with this compelling history of Lazard Frères & Co., from its humble beginnings through its astounding success. The stories of the dominant personalities who used the Lazard mystique to garner unbelievable fees are legendary. As a former journalist and Lazard banker, William D. Cohan has the skill and qualifications to tell this story. While he covers many of Lazard’s biggest men and biggest deals, he never bogs down in technical details. The author focuses on the firm’s leaders, and shows their personalities, strengths and foibles. These stories cover shocking self-interest and staggering amounts of money. This large book has a cast of hundreds; it is attributed carefully and well-indexed, though it could use a personnel timeline. Cohan keeps you on track by focusing on the men who led Lazard over the 157 years that it was a family firm. Many of the personal revelations are quite sensational and the book is almost always entertaining.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How Lazard Frères & Co. grew, struggled, flourished and transformed over its century and a half as a family firm
  • Who the “great men” of Lazard were

About the Author

William D. Cohan won awards as a journalist before becoming an investment banker. Cohan worked at Lazard for six years before moving to other investment banking positions.



The Origins of Lazard
Lazard Frères & Company is a legendary Wall Street firm. Smaller than Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch in their heydays, it built tremendous prestige and power. Lazard traditionally earned its fees with its brains rather than financial capital. For...

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