Lazard third-quarter profit falls as AUM shrinks amid market rout

Investment bank Lazard Ltd (LAZ.N) on Thursday reported a 4% fall in third-quarter profit as the global market rout shrank the value of assets under management.

The market rout, triggered by the war in Ukraine and rapid tightening of monetary policy in a bid to tame decades-high inflation, has also piled pressure on underwriting activity.

Assets under management declined 27% in the quarter to $198 billion from a year earlier.

Lazard joins larger rivals JPMorgan Chase and Co and Morgan Stanley in reporting a drop in its earnings this quarter.

The boutique investment bank, though not immune to the pain from dealmaking slowing, is better poised to weather the pullback in underwriting activity due to its large restructuring practice that advises companies on bankruptcies.

Operating revenue from the financial advisory business grew 19% to $454 million, while revenue from the asset management arm fell 15% to $263 million.

Lazard, whose business is split between asset management and financial advisory, reported a 3% rise in operating revenue to $724 million for the quarter.

On a per-share basis, adjusted profit rose to $1.05 from 98 cents, reflecting the investment bank’s aggressive share buybacks.

The U.S. bank’s adjusted net income fell to $106 million from $111 million a year earlier.