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Lazard Asset Management to cut workforce, shut down some funds by year-end: source

[NEW YORK] Lazard's asset-management division plans to cut as much as 7 per cent of its workforce and shut down some investment funds by the end of the year, a person briefed on the matter said.

Lazard told employees about the cutbacks last week, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn't been announced.

Investment and non-investment roles will be affected, the person said. The unit had 850 employees as of June 30, meaning a 7 per cent reduction could bring about 60 firings.

Lazard Asset Management oversees US$213.6 billion. The cutbacks come as the broader industry faces pressure from passive funds. In August, index-based equity mutual funds and ETFs (exchange-traded funds) surpassed active funds in assets under management, a milestone moment for the industry.

This year, Lazard ramped up its focus on quantitative; environmental, social and governance; and artificial intelligence-based strategies for investing. The funds to be eliminated had little potential for growth, the person said. Dow Jones had reported the cuts earlier.

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