Lazard Freres & Co. yesterday said it will subject its employees to a wide-ranging set of procedures that bans all business-related political contributions and provides a "litmus test" for the hiring of political consultants.

Senior executives with Lazard Freres said the procedures are an effort to establish a new ethical standard at the firm, which has been jarred in recent months by federal and state investigations into its municipal finance activities in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Louisiana.

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