Lazard loses another fundraiser

The Private Fund Advisory Group at Lazard has lost a group of high-level placement agents in the past few years, but the team overall has tripled in size since its inception in 2003.

Lazard has lost another fundraiser, adding to the list of placement agents who have left the bank’s private funds group over the last few years.

John Marshall, who was described by a source as a “senior-level guy”, left the firm in the last few weeks. It’s unclear why he left or if he has joined another funds placement shop.

Lazard confirmed Marshall’s departure, but would provide no further details about his role. One source in the funds placement industry said Marshall was involved in private equity real estate fundraising. Marshall’s LinkedIn profile, which was not updated as of Monday, has his title as director at Lazard.

Marshall could not be reached for comment.

Over the past few years, Lazard has lost some of its top private equity fundraisers, including Tim O’Gara, who started rival placement agency Shannon Advisors, where he was joined by former Lazard fundraisers Kevin McGrath and Fran Lolli.

Other professionals who have left include Scott Church, who left in 2009 and in January helped launch Rede Partners in London and Mark Christopher, who left last year and to join The Carlyle Group investor relations team. Dan Rudgers and Robert White also left the team in recent years.

Despite the losses, Lazard has tripled the size of its private funds placement group from about 10 in 2003, when the division was launched by a team that defected from Merrill Lynch, a source with knowledge of the group told Private Equity International. Lazard declined to comment about the actual size of the group.

The team is led by Ben Sullivan and William Riddle. Sullivan moved to London last year to head up the team’s European fundraising efforts.

The private funds placement team also helped drive revenue increases in the bank’s Capital Markets and Other Advisory segments in the first quarter, according to Lazard’s first quarter earnings report. Operating revenue increased 39 percent in the segment to about $30 million from $21.3 million in the first quarter of 2010.

“The increase was due primarily to an increase in underwriting fees from public offerings, and to the growth in the value of fund closings by our Private Fund Advisory Group,” according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lazard is generally quiet about its fund closings. Last year, one of the team’s clients, Stone Point Capital, closed its fifth Trident fund on $3.5 billion, well above its original hard-cap of $3 billion.