The Buzz Word for this week is “LAZARD”. Not Lizard, but Lazard. A Financial Services company founded by Alexandre Lazard, Lazare Lazard and Simon Lazard. Headquarters incorporated in Bermuda (for obvious TAX reasons) and operational offices in New York City, New York, United States and other Offices in other Countries like France. Kenneth M. Jacobs (Chairman and CEO) for now.
Lazard is focused on two businesses: Financial Advisory and Asset Management. In Financial Advisory, they advise clients around the world on strategic and financial matters including mergers and acquisitions, restructurings, shareholder advisory, capital structure and capital raising. In Asset Management, they manage investment portfolios in key regions of the world and distribute them locally, regionally and globally. Their clients include corporations, governments (now GRZ included) , endowments and foundations, financial institutions and high net worth individuals.
GRZ through MoF is willing to folk out $5 million US Dollars cool cash for their services. What is Lazard going to tell or advise Zambians to do which our highly knowledgeable, Educated, skilled and experienced technocrats with PhDs at Ministry of Finance, BOZ, ZRA, CBU, UNZA, other Universities, PMRP, NGOs, Financial Consultants in the Private Sector don’t know about? Suppose 10 brilliant Zambian Minds from the pool of Senior Economists, CIMA and Chartered Accountants who are also fellows and experts like Ex-Bankers poach MoF and BOZ staff, from diaspora, UNZA, CBU staff to be on unpaid leave and form up a consortium of Consultancy Gurus and ask GRZ to award this $5miilion Dollars to them (give them $4million only, $1million for being patriotic and donated to poor Zambians through social cash transfer and COVID-19 Operations etc). The Zambian BIG brains should be tasked to carry out this Financial Advisory consultancy assignment in 36 months instead of giving it away to Lazard who by the way will come down to Zambia to ask the same Zambians at BOZ, MoF staff and other key stake holder what the HECK went haywire. Most likely, LAZARD will not even have Professors on that team and will be asking the same Zambians questions like that “now that you have messed up big time, how do you propose to RESTRUCTURE these Loans and what steps do you think you need to take up in order to amicably resolve the mess with the lenders? Zambians will be giving answers whilst LAZARD boys will be simply asking the Zambians to type their intended proposals. Will the Zambian advise be of less valuable, less quality or they wont advise properly on how best to structure our own debt? Just thinking aloud! Njafweniko. A Consultant is like a SHIBUKOMBE or ALANGIZI, any stranger you officially invite to come ask you to offload and tabulate all the problems you have and are aware of and asks you in a diplomatic way to propose how you intend to resolve them. He puts it on his HEADED PAPER and signs them and CHARGES $5million for such un quantifiable services. TESHETI. Ninkanda Yafita?