Download The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. Audiobook

The Last Tycoons: The Secret History of Lazard Freres & Co. Audiobook, by William Cohan Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: William Cohan, William D. Cohan Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781415935705
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (214 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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A grand and revelatory portrait of Wall Street’s most storied investment bank

Wall Street investment banks move trillions of dollars a year, make billions in fees, pay their executives in the tens of millions of dollars. But even among the most powerful firms, Lazard Frères & Co. stood apart. Discretion, secrecy, and subtle strategy were its weapons of choice. For more than a century, the mystique and reputation of the "Great Men" who worked there allowed the firm to garner unimaginable profits, social cachet, and outsized influence in the halls of power. But in the mid-1980s, their titanic egos started getting in the way, and the Great Men of Lazard jeopardized all they had built.

William D. Cohan, himself a former high-level Wall Street banker, takes the reader into the mysterious and secretive world of Lazard and presents a compelling portrait of Wall Street through the tumultuous history of this exalted and fascinating company.  Cohan deconstructs the explosive feuds between Felix Rohatyn and Steve Rattner, superstar investment bankers and pillars of New York society, and between the man who controlled Lazard, the inscrutable French billionaire Michel David-Weill, and his chosen successor, Bruce Wasserstein.

Cohan follows Felix, the consummate adviser, as he reshapes corporate America in the 1970s and 1980s, saves New York City from bankruptcy, and positions himself in New York society and in Washington. Felix’s dreams are dashed after the arrival of Steve, a formidable and ambitious former newspaper reporter. By the mid-1990s, as Lazard neared its 150th anniversary, Steve and Felix were feuding openly.
 
The internal strife caused by their arguments could not be solved by the imperious Michel, whose manipulative tendencies served only to exacerbate the trouble within the firm. Increasingly desperate, Michel took the unprecedented step of relinquishing operational control of Lazard to one of the few Great Men still around, Bruce Wasserstein, then fresh from selling his own M&A boutique, for $1.4 billion.  Bruce’s take: more than $600 million. But it turned out Great Man Bruce had snookered Great Man Michel when the Frenchman was at his most vulnerable. 

The LastTycoons is a tale of vaulting ambitions, whispered advice, worldly mistresses, fabulous art collections, and enormous wealth—a story of high drama in the world of high finance.  Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Cohan’s portrayal of the firm's dominant partners—whose gargantuan appetites and mercurial habits provide the unifying force behind the book’s operatic melodramas— makes this an epic . . . In fact, The Last Tycoons bears a striking resemblance to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Last Tycoon. New York Times Book Review
  • Breezy and highly readable . . . For those of us who enjoy high-level gossip (most people) and an inside look at the machinations, triumphs, failures, and foibles of some of Wall Street’s and America’s most exalted personages, Cohan’s book is entertaining and seductively engrossing. Chicago Tribune
  • Cohan's thoroughness—he interviewed over 100 current and former bankers and assorted bigwigs—unearths a trove of colourful titbits, many quite racy . . . Illuminating are Mr. Cohan’s descriptions of the scheming, politicking, and general dysfunction that was Lazard. Economist
  • Cohan not only knows where the bodies are buried but got a guided tour of the graveyard. Financial Times
  • [The Last Tycoons] has sent a jolt through Lazard and the rest of Wall Street. Wall Street Journal

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 1/14/2014

    " Will written, but LONG and really only for the die hard lover of the history of wall street. On a positive note I thought it was fair and well researched and did not have an agenda, a big bonus considering it was written by a former Lazard partner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 12/2/2013

    " Good retelling based on widely disseminated sources. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 The | 10/31/2013

    " An interesting, but ultimately long-winded, look at Lazard Freres. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 10/27/2013

    " Interesting book on a company I didn't even know existed before I'd read their story. Well researched. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 10/21/2013

    " A little long, but a good sense of financial history of the United States. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 10/10/2013

    " would benefit from some more rigorous editing and abbreviation, but insightful nonetheless... reminds me of why i would never want to work for an investment bank (did i just say that?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis | 8/25/2013

    " Great insights into the secret world of Lazard "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maire | 7/24/2013

    " lib 3/19; need to reorder as of 4/20 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 3/9/2013

    " This is a gossipy history of an investment bank, most of it dedicated to the last 20 years where the most gossip is available. It contains all of the joys and limitations of good gossip, although non-bankers may find the descriptions of the various compensation packages a little arcane. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 8/19/2012

    " Poorly written, makes me want to fall asleep. Read Barbarians at the Gate instead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charles | 6/5/2012

    " Rambled. Lost interest at a little over half. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 LA | 2/17/2012

    " I never thought the exciting life of investment bankers at Lazard could turn into such a boring book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Travis | 12/2/2011

    " I was not able to finish this book. The direction was not clear. It is not badly written, but the direction of where the book was going was not clear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 10/29/2011

    " Interesting story of Lazard's history and people behind it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 9/7/2011

    " This book probably has a pretty limited audience. That said, it's well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nathan | 7/23/2011

    " Amazing insight to one of most influential but unknown investment banks in history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kanwal | 6/3/2011

    " Definitely a book which gives a good insight of the wall street history. At some points, the direction gets a bit hazy but overall a nice read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 5/8/2011

    " Interesting book on a company I didn't even know existed before I'd read their story. Well researched. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathan | 5/26/2010

    " Amazing insight to one of most influential but unknown investment banks in history. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David | 10/19/2009

    " Poorly written, makes me want to fall asleep. Read Barbarians at the Gate instead. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Travis | 5/18/2009

    " I was not able to finish this book. The direction was not clear. It is not badly written, but the direction of where the book was going was not clear. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rod | 4/14/2009

    " A little long, but a good sense of financial history of the United States. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 1/5/2009

    " would benefit from some more rigorous editing and abbreviation, but insightful nonetheless... reminds me of why i would never want to work for an investment bank (did i just say that?) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Craig | 12/10/2008

    " Good retelling based on widely disseminated sources. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 7/31/2008

    " This is a gossipy history of an investment bank, most of it dedicated to the last 20 years where the most gossip is available. It contains all of the joys and limitations of good gossip, although non-bankers may find the descriptions of the various compensation packages a little arcane. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 4/17/2008

    " Interesting story of Lazard's history and people behind it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis | 2/19/2008

    " Great insights into the secret world of Lazard "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James | 1/22/2008

    " Will written, but LONG and really only for the die hard lover of the history of wall street. On a positive note I thought it was fair and well researched and did not have an agenda, a big bonus considering it was written by a former Lazard partner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 1/21/2008

    " This book probably has a pretty limited audience. That said, it's well done. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 LA | 6/9/2007

    " I never thought the exciting life of investment bankers at Lazard could turn into such a boring book. "

About the Author

David Aaron Baker is a voice and film actor. He is an award-winning narrator of dozens of audiobooks, including the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz, Paradise Dogs by Man Martin, and The Bartender’s Tale by Ivan Doig. He has earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration.

About the Narrator

Anne Flosnik, a seasoned audiobook narrator, has over four hundred titles to her credit and several awards and distinctions, including AudioFile Earphones Awards, a USA Today Recommended Listening selection, an AudioFile “Best Narration of the Year” selection in 2009, and the American Library Association’s Special Services to Children Award. She has also been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. She is an award-winning British actress with lead credits on stage, on television, and in commercials and voice-overs.