Companies Redefining Themselves: Lazard Vice-Chairman


Many large companies are going back-to-basics by looking at their core competencies and exiting businesses that aren't working, while consolidatating others.

"I think a major theme over the next few years is companies redefining what they are. Some institutions got too big and too desperate to manage effectively and the [financial] crisis amplified that issue," Gary Parr, vice-chairman of Lazard, told CNBC's "The Strategy Session" on Monday.

In addition, now that an agreement has been reached to make banks more resilient—known as Basel III—a lot of pressure has been removed "for banks to hit the market really quickly raising tens of millions of billions of dollars," Parr said. These new rules are set to be phased in from January 2012 through January 2019.

"This is probably good news for the economy, notably in Europe where banks represent 70 percent of lending to companies (it's only about 30 percent in the U.S.)," he said.

Parsing the Basel III Bank Rules

"At least there is some liquidity in the market lending capacity and that helps growth. But several regional banks in several countries are still weak. If you look at the dynamics these last two months shaping up Basel, it was some of these countries, for example Germany, that pushed back," Parr concluded.