Lazard hires Citi banker for infra group

Jonathan Turnbull is joining the firm as a managing director in Lazard’s power, energy and infrastructure investment banking group, marking the group’s first senior-level hire this year and sending a strong signal to the market that the investment bank seeks to be an active player in infrastructure advisory.

Lazard has hired the former head of Citi’s infrastructure investment banking business, giving the clearest indication yet that the storied investment banking firm is intent on entering the infrastructure advisory business in a big way.

The new hire, Jonathan Turnbull, will serve as a managing director in Lazard’s power, energy and infrastructure investment banking group, according to a statement issued by the firm. He will be based in New York.

Previously, Turnbull served as managing director and global head of the infrastructure group for Citi’s investment bank. He left that position a few months ago, as previously reported by, and was rumored to be joining Lazard.

Jonathan Turnbull

According to a biography of Turnbull, while at Citi he “executed” the $4.1 billion infrastructure fund raising for Alinda Capital Partners, as well as the $650 million equity offering by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to finance its recapitalisation of Prime Infrastructure Holdings in November of last year. He also advised Bell Canada in the sale of Telesat, one of its infrastructure assets, for $3.4 billion and helped Morgan Stanley in its acquisition of Southern Star Central Corporation, a Kentucky-based pipeline operator.

At Lazard, Turnbull will focus on advising infrastructure companies and governments “in matters relating to financial transactions and public-private partnerships,” Lazard said. He will have a global advisory mandate.

Turnbull is the first senior-level hire Lazard has made this year for its infrastructure advisory business. Previously, the firm disclosed the hiring of Thomas Suozzi, but Suozzi serves as a senior advisor to the firm’s infrastructure team, not as a Lazard employee. And Felix Rohatyn, the 50-year Lazard veteran who rejoined the firm in January, serves as a special advisor to Lazard’s chairman and chief executive officer, Ken Jacobs, not as a member of the infrastructure team.

Still, Lazard hopes Rohatyn’s reputation in infrastructure finance issues will “complement” the infrastructure team. Rohatyn is famous for having helped New York City avert a bankruptcy filing in 1975 and, more recently, writing a book about infrastructure investment, Bold Endeavors: How Our Government Built America, and Why It Must Rebuild Now.

Lazard said its recent infrastructure advisory clients include the Long Island Power Authority, the government of Papua New Guinea, toll road developer Transurban and German railway operator Deutsche Bahn, among others.