Lazard Banker Joins U.S. Treasury

Jim Millstein, a restructuring banker at Lazard, has become the senior restructuring officer of the U.S. Treasury, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Millstein, who had served on President Obama’s Economics and International Trade Team for the Department of the Treasury’s transition team, started work at Treasury on Monday. His last day at Lazard was on Friday.

According to published reports, Millstein sent out a memo to his friends saying he would join Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in addressing the U.S. government’s financial institutions investments and establishing new structures to correct the troubled financial system.

Before joining Lazard in 2000 as a managing director, Millstein practiced bankruptcy law at Cleary Gottlieb. Millstein is the son of Ira Millstein, a Weil, Gotshal & Manges senior partner.

In recent months, several former pros at Lazard have joined the Obama administration. Steve Rattner, the embattled auto-industry czar who is at the center of Quadrangle Partners’ pay-to-play controversy, is a former Lazard partner. In addition, Ron Bloom, a senior adviser in that taskforce, was previously a vice president at Lazard.

Lazard advised on the bankruptcies of Lehman Brothers, Charter Communications and Nortel Networks. The firm is currently advising the UAW in negotiating VEBA restructurings with GM, Ford and Chrysler, and is also advising Cemex in its negotiations with creditors.

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