The Lazard Houses are combining all of their British and American asset management operations in New York.

The new entity, which is subject to regulatory approval, will be known as Lazard Asset Management and based at Manhattan's Rockefeller Center.

A combination of New York's Lazard Freres Asset Management and London's Lazard Brothers Asset Management, the firm will manage approximately $45 billion for public and corporate retirement plans, endowments, foundations, trusts and wealthy individuals.

"The newly combined Lazard Asset Management will enable us to fully leverage our investment capabilities," Lazard Freres & Co. chairman Michel David-Weill said in a release, "and provide global asset management to all our clients under a single umbrella."

The move is the latest form of combined forces for Lazard, which provides investment banking, research, and investment management on both sides of the Atlantic. Last year, the Lazard Houses began sharing profits throughout the firms.

-Katharine Fraser

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John Govett & Co. Ltd., an asset management unit of Allied Irish Banks, has named Keith E. Mitchell head of its U.S. operations. Mr. Mitchell had been chief executive officer of Delaware Distributors, a subsidiary of the Philadelphia-based mutual fund company Delaware Management Holdings.

London-based John Govett said Mr. Mitchell will be responsible for institutional investment management accounts and the Govett Funds Inc. mutual funds. He will be based in St. Davids, Pa.

Before joining Delaware Distributors, Mr. Govett spent three years as chairman and chief executive of Enterprise Group, a mutual fund subsidiary of Mony Financial Services. He has also held a marketing position with Van Kampen Merritt.

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