Lazard fund advisory group is hiring

* Secondary business growing fast

* Expect at least three new hires over next several months

* Needs to replace Josh Overbay

Led by Managing Director William Riddle in New York, the advisory group employs north of 40 people in locations that include New York, London and Chicago. All three areas of the fund advisory group’s business are growing, and the group is looking to add people in all three from junior to senior levels, our source said. Lazard launched the business in 2003 with fewer than a dozen people.

Among future hires, the Lazard fund advisory group plans to replace Josh Overbay, a former director who left a few weeks back to become head of capital raising and investor relations at New York-based Almanac Realty Investors, our source said. Among recent hires, the fund advisory group announced in January the hiring of Sarah Sandström as managing director in its New York office; previously she was a partner at placement agency Atlantic-Pacific Capital.

All told members of the Lazard fund advisory group have worked on more than 200 fundraising and secondary assignments totaling more than $200 billion in value, according to its website. The group is working on about 10 secondary advisory assignments, typically involving either limited partners looking to sell interest in funds or private equity teams looking to spin out of financial institutions. It was recently awarded a mandate to sell up to $1 billion in fund interests managed by Citi Venture Capital International, formerly an arm of Citigroup, according to LBO Wire, published by Dow Jones.

The fund advisory group’s sponsor clients include Blue Sea Capital (reported to be in the market seeking some $270 million for a debut fund), Kohlberg & Co., Equistone Partners Europe, Monarch Alternative Capital (reported by sister website peHUB to be seeking $850 million for its third fund), and Roark Capital

Lazard this week reported a 35 percent rise in fourth-quarter profits to $110 million on an adjusted basis, according to sister news service Reuters. The company’s financial advisory revenue rose 2 percent to $315 million.