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Okonjo-Iweala hired by Lazard as senior adviser

By The Rainbow
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A globally-acclaimed financial advisory firm Lazard Ltd. has hired former Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as a senior adviser.

Lazard is a financial advisory and asset management firm that engages in investment banking, asset management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients. Its principal executive offices are in New York City, Paris and London.

The multinational financial corporation announced he hiring in a business wire Monday morning.

Okonjo-Iweala, a global leader in economic development and international finance, was until May 2015 the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance of Nigeria.

“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has built a remarkable international reputation over more than three decades in leadership positions in government and at the World Bank”

“Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has built a remarkable international reputation over more than three decades in leadership positions in government and at the World Bank,” said Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Lazard. “She will be a strong addition as a Senior Advisor to our firm.”

“We are proud to welcome Dr. Okonjo-Iweala as a Senior Advisor to our world-leading sovereign advisory group,” said Matthieu Pigasse, Global Head of M&A and Sovereign Advisory of Lazard. “She will bring a unique international expertise and experience that will benefit both our sovereign and corporate clients.”

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala was Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Honourable Minister of Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011 until May 2015. Prior to that, she served as a Managing Director at the World Bank Group for four years. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala held several ministerial positions, notably as Minister of Finance for Nigeria from 2003 to 2006, during which she led the country's successful debt relief negotiations. She started her career at the World Bank in 1982.

About Lazard
Lazard, one of the world’s preeminent financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 43 cities across 27 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America. With origins dating to 1848, the firm provides advice on mergers and acquisitions, strategic matters, restructuring and capital structure, capital raising and corporate finance, as well as asset management services to corporations, partnerships, institutions, governments and individuals.

Okonjo-Iweala, 61, most recently co-ordinating minister for the economy and finance from 2011 to May 2015, will join as a senior advisor focusing on the bank's sovereign advisory group, Lazard said in a statement on Monday.

“She will bring a unique international expertise and experience that will benefit both our sovereign and corporate clients,” Matthieu Pigasse, Lazard's global head of mergers and acquisitions and sovereign advisory, said in the statement.

In an earlier stint as finance minister of Africa's largest oil producer between 2003 and 2006, Okonjo-Iweala spearheaded talks that led the Paris Club group of creditors to write off $18 billion in debt. The Harvard University-educated economist resigned from the cabinet in August 2006 after a demotion by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In her more recent stint under Jonathan, she battled to cut government spending and bring order to an opaque fuel-subsidy payment system.

Jonathan's government lost the March election to former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who has vowed to end corruption and crush a militant insurgency in the northeast.

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