Ray McGuire, who spent decades as a top Wall Street investment banker, rising to vice chairman of Citigroup Inc., is joining Lazard Ltd. as the firm’s president.

McGuire, 66, will start in his role early next month and be based in New York. He’ll be responsible for strengthening relationships with senior banking clients and large investing institutions, attracting talent and expanding Lazard’s reach around the world.

“This is what I call a long courtship over the past 35 years or so,” McGuire said in an interview. “These are people who I’ve admired, trusted and respected through the course of my and their careers, so it’s sort of a natural fit given the personalities.”

Over the course of his career, including time as global co-head of mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley, McGuire has worked on more than $750 billion of transactions. He spent more than a decade at Citigroup, running corporate and investment banking globally before becoming chairman of all of the bank’s key dealmaking units and vice chairman of the entire company, making him one of Wall Street’s most senior Black executives. He left in 2020 to run for mayor of New York City, a post ultimately won by Eric Adams. 

McGuire has since been appointed to boards of major financial institutions including as an independent director of private equity giant KKR & Co. and landlord Vornado Realty Trust. 

“He’s an iconic banker, and this is the perfect platform. To have someone of this level of talent and seniority to join us is important from a client perspective and also a talent perspective,” Lazard Chief Executive Officer Ken Jacobs said in an interview. “In this business you don’t want to hire in the boom times and only fire in the weaker times, you try to do this counter-cyclically, so you’re bringing in great people throughout the cycle.”

McGuire started his Wall Street career at First Boston in 1984, then became an original member of Wasserstein Perella & Co., the investment bank started by McGuire’s longtime mentor Joe Perella and Bruce Wasserstein, who was CEO of Lazard until his death in 2009. McGuire also worked at Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley before being recruited by Citigroup in 2005. 

The hiring of McGuire reunites him with former Citigroup dealmaker Peter Orszag, now CEO of financial advisory at Lazard.

“Exceptional people like to be around exceptional teams and people,” Orszag said in an interview. “Ray is clearly exceptional.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.