Lazard Capital Markets LLC, the closely held brokerage controlled by current and former Lazard Ltd. employees, is exploring strategic options including a sale or joint venture, according to a spokesman.

Lazard Capital, spun out amid Lazard Ltd.’s 2005 initial public offering, also may pursue a capital partner or sell a minority stake as its owners seek to increase the value of the franchise, Scott Sunshine, a spokesman for the New York-based broker-dealer, said in a phone interview. No decision has been made, he said.

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