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FirstFT: Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund holds detailed talks on Lazard takeover

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Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund ADQ Holds detailed talks to take Wall Street investment bank Lazard privatea move that underscores the oil-rich emirate’s ambitions to buy a Western financial services company.

This year’s talks were between Lazard, led by outgoing chief executive Ken Jacobs, and Sheikh Thanoon, the fund’s chairman and Abu Dhabi’s powerful national security adviser, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. ADQ led by bin Zayed Al Nahyan was held.

The talks broke down after both sides walked away from the agreement. Lazard, known for his consulting practice in Paris, New York and London, has been focused on maintaining operational independence, one of the people added.

“We’ve been talking to people, as you’d expect, but we don’t comment on speculation,” Lazard said. ADQ declined to comment.

After the talks, Lazard began the succession process, with Jacobs, who has led the company since 2009, becoming its executive chairman. Peter Orsager, an economist and former official in the Barack Obama administration, will take over as CEO in October.

Here are other things I’m keeping an eye on:

  • Company achievements: Package delivery service FedEx reported results three months after raising its full-year outlook.

  • Economic data: We get the latest homebuilding data from the U.S. Census Bureau.Lex looks at in the US real estate market yesterday. (Premium subscribers only)

  • Monetary Policy: St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is to speak at a public event in Barcelona.

  • World Refugee Day: Amazon and Starbucks are among 40 companies announcing plans employ thousands of refugees Commemorate World Refugee Day.

  • Titanic Expedition Search: this race to find a dive boat Those missing en route to the wreck of the RMS Titanic will continue 900 miles off the coast of Cape Cod.

five more headlines

1. The People’s Bank of China lowered the benchmark lending rate for the first time in nearly a year. The one-year lending prime rate (LPR) was cut by 10 basis points to 3.55% in a bid to spur stronger growth in the struggling economy. Learn about China’s latest efforts to boost growth.

2. UBS faces more than $400 million in fines over Credit Suisse mishandling of Archegos Capital It comes after Swiss, U.S. and U.K. regulators completed investigations into the matter, according to people familiar with the matter. read more.

3. Exclusive: Adobe’s $20B deal to buy rival Figma faces long-running EU antitrust probe It comes after British and US regulators set their sights on the software giant’s attempt to consolidate the digital design market. Here’s why the EU’s move could end up being a deal-breaker.

4. Big asset managers are putting pressure on tech companies On the Potential Misuse of Artificial Intelligence As they grow concerned about responsibility for technology-related human rights risks, including surveillance, discrimination and mass layoffs. Read more about a coalition of financial institutions representing $6.9 trillion in assets under management.

5. Accounting firms PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG have been embroiled in a scandal involving the collapsed Brazilian retailer Americanas. The company’s new management told the FT it was looking for “context” to explain correspondence between the former executive and the two audit firms. Read more about investigation that uncovers $4 billion in accounting irregularities.

big read

Photomontage of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, IR-6 centrifuge, IAEA logo and Iranian flag

© FT Montage/AP/Handout

In January, scientists from the U.N.’s atomic watchdog visited Iran’s secret Fordow nuclear facility and made a startling discovery: Uranium there had been enriched to record levels of purity, suggesting Tehran was more critical than ever. close to having the capability to produce nuclear weapons.Western diplomats have quietly resumed talks, but some think this may be Too late to stop the Islamic Republic’s march toward a nuclear state.

We are also reading. . .

chart of the day

The battle for the skies in Latin America is heating up with mergers and expansion plans, with investors pouring billions of dollars to aid the recovery. Over the past 18 months, the region’s three largest airlines have emerged from bankruptcy protection, while others have reached deals with creditors to reduce debt. As passenger numbers rebound, Growth takes center stage again.

take a break from the news

Chief economic commentator Martin Wolf picks his Favorite Economics Book of the Year So Far. this is part of us Summer 2023 Book Series.

FT montage of book covers

Other contributions by Tee Zhuo and emily goldberg

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