Lazard Ltd. (NYSE:LAZ) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jul 31, 2020 • 08:00 am ET
Thank you, sir. [Operator Instructions] We'll take our first question from Devin Ryan from JMP Securities. Please go ahead.
Kenneth M. Jacobs
Hey, good morning, Devin.
Maybe start the question just on the restructuring strength. So you've seen, obviously, a very strong ramp in deals, and we can track some of that from the outside. Trying to get a little bit better sense from kind of a sizing and timing perspective and how you guys are thinking about the opportunity there. If we look back, you used to provide some of the detail around the revenues. I think the prior high was about $375 million back in 2009. From the outside, it does seem like you're tracking ahead of that. So I'd just love to get some more perspective around kind of how you're thinking about the upside case or just even what you're seeing in that business today. And then also, just from a timing perspective, the view of it does take longer to close restructuring typically, but we are seeing, I think, some deals closing this year. So just trying to think about the glide path between 2020 and 2021.
Kenneth M. Jacobs
Sure. Why don't I give you the overall themes in the restructuring and have Evan talk a little bit about the scale and timing of some of the closings, okay?
So look, first, our franchise and restructuring is really quite powerful. It's been through several cycles. It integrates not only a very -- I mean, I think market-leading team in restructuring, but it also is able to draw from the rest of the firm, both the industry groups and geographies, to complement activities in the restructuring group. And that's been one of the secrets to our success and our ability to ramp up in this area over the course of time.
In terms of this cycle, we saw a very strong activity in the first part of this year, largely driven by companies which already were facing challenged liquidity positions and balance sheets prior to the pandemic that were accelerated by the pandemic. There's a bit of a lull right now, but our sense is, is that given the withdrawal of some of the stimulus activities and unevenness of the recovery, particularly in the U.S. because of the breadth of the pandemic in the South and West and now into the Midwest, and the likely pullback on some economic activity that was generated in those states when they reopened, we're likely to see a pickup into the fall and winter this year. So overall, the activity levels, we think, are going to be historic in that regard and probably continue through next year.
Evan, you want to just go into some of the more detail there?
Evan L. Russo
Sure. Happy to, Devin. So when we think about the restructuring sort of pipeline out for the rest of the year, so as we said, we had a very strong Q2. Some of that was closings for restructurings we're working on from the beginning of the